An ‘All India Convention on Higher Education Under the NEP 2020’ was hosted by AIFRTE to deliberate upon the New Education Policy (2020). The event included a long list of educationists, coming from various parts of the country, who presented their views on the subject. Read ahead to find out more.


The All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) organised an ‘All India Convention on Higher Education Under the NEP 2020’, on 27 May 2022 at the Gandhi Peace Foundation. The event was attended by renowned educationists and professors, who came from various parts of the country to deliver speeches on a subject of shared interest. Various student and teacher organisations including All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Collective, and Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) were also present, among others. 

Among the first speakers, who were scheduled to speak in the First Session, Mrigank delivered his speech on ‘NEP 2020: Background and Purpose’. He is the Senior Vice President, IFTU, National Executive Member, AIFRTE, and Convenor, People for Science (Delhi). Through his speech, he stressed on how the policy is a ‘complete corporatization of education’. He stated that the entire document reflects a budget cut of the government and further claimed that this policy would give birth to a population of ‘zombies’ who would not have a mind of their own. 

Following this, Professor. Surjeet Majumdar, who is a Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and a former secretary of JNUTA, spoke on the subject, ‘Killing several birds with one stone: Higher Education in NEP 2020’. Professor Majumdar asserted that neither there is an increase in the public expenditure on education nor there is an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With his speech, the first session culminated for a short break of a few minutes.


Beginning the next session was Professor Minati Panda, who is a professor at Zakir Husain Centre for Education Studies, JNU. She made her speech on ‘The Question of Language and epistemic justice in Higher Education in NEP 2020’. The Professor found the policy to be a ‘verbose document’. She stressed the subject of multilingualism, claiming that when someone goes around the first few pages of the policy, they ought to find it in contradiction to the realistic experiences. 

Multilingual education is going to end the concept of multilingualism in the future.Professor Minati Panda


Continuing this flow, the next speaker was Joga Singh. He is a former Professor of Linguistics at Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab. He took upon the subject ‘Bankrupt Language Proposals in NEP 2020’. He strongly voiced his thoughts on the language section of the policy. He stated that the policy says that students will have to study three languages ‘wherever possible’. Stressing on the latter part, he claimed that the phrase ‘wherever possible’ here simply means ‘nowhere possible’. To support his notion, he asserted that people get jobs only with knowledge of English and a majority of parents prefer sending their children to an ‘English-medium school’. 

Privatisation and Commercialisation stands on english and the entire policy talks about them so english is nowhere to go.-Joga Singh


The next speaker was Professor Madhu Prasad. She is a former Professor of Philosophy at Zakir Husain College, University of Delhi (DU), Spokesperson, and Presidium member, AIFRTE. She spoke about ‘NEP 2020 and digitalisation of education’ and she found it to be unfortunate that when the pandemic hit, the government rushed to shut down schools and colleges, even before malls and parks were closed. She believes that the government had already planned this NEP and hence used the period of the pandemic to give it a further push. 

Digitalisation is talked about as a technique but instead it is a process through which one makes knowledge a merchandise.-Professor Madhu Prasad


The session was resumed with Dr. Shamsul Islam, a former professor from Delhi University. Following him, Dr. Maya John, who teaches history at Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University, spoke on the ‘Rhetorics and realities of higher education in NEP 2020: a critique of UGCF from the margins’. 

When the constitution was being drafted and Right to Education was removed from the Fundamental Rights and put into the Directive Principles of State Policy, why was it not questioned?-Dr. Maya John

She talked about how this policy was a “part and product of the international milieu”, something that will help in the creation of labour with multiple skills, aiding only “the global elitist needs”. She also brought out the contradictions that exist in the NEP 2020 and focusing on how the guarantee of education from 6 to 14 years of age is not enough, demanded:

Nothing short of education from KG to PG— public funded education from KG to PG.


Representing Jamia Millia Islamia, Dr. Shikha Kapur, went on to talk about how education is moving towards centralisation and towards capitalism, and questioned the UGC’s step aiming towards uniformity through NEP.

But when the country is diverse… where will uniformity come from in this diversity?” -Dr. Shikha Kapur

She went on to talk about how the education policy has led to the quantification of education, with social sciences and languages also being marked on the basis of MCQs, and how CUET will block the pathway of education for many groups, including first-generation learners.


Dr. Shikha Kapur was followed by Prof. Nandita Narain, Professor at St. Stephen’s college, DU, and former president, DUTA and FEDCUTA, who spoke on the ‘Degradation of quality through restructuring of academic courses (FYUP, UGF, ABC, CUET) and governance (fragmentation, corporatisation, privatisation, and exclusion)’. She talked about the condition of education during the years of lockdown and how this step towards digitalisation will again push us back into the same dark tunnel. 

Speaking against the CUET, she brought attention to how this will only aid institutions in earning more money and also spoke in disfavour of the recent CUET crash course organised by Ramanujan College.

This [NEP 2020] is a privatisation blueprint’” -Prof. Nandita Narain


Dr. Abha Dev Habib, who teaches Physics at Miranda House, DU; Secretary, DTF; former treasurer, DUTA; and former member of the executive council, DU, spoke on ‘CUCET, FYUP, and UGF: Illusion of choices’. Comparing NEP to a packet of chips, she says “Jiske pass jitna paisa hai, valise hi chips ka packet kharidega, aur kitne log hain jo wahan tak pahunch bhi nhi payenge”.

She brought attention to the fact that when students opt for the multiple exit option, exiting after three years, they will still be considered drop-outs under the FYUP. She went on to call the students to fight against the NEP 2020.

Agar Modi Sarkar ko kisi ne lalkara hai toh woh students hain ” -Dr. Abha Dev Habib


Representing Ambedkar University, Dr. Shivani Nag, spoke on the ‘fallacy of gender inclusion in NEP’ and the contradictions with the NEP 2020.

3 saal ki degree kafi nahi hai, 4th saal chahiye par 1 saal ke baad students chhod sakte hain [talking about the multiple exit options].” -Dr. Shivani Nag


Jagmohan Singh, Chairperson, AIFRTE; General Secretary, AFDR, Punjab; and Director, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Creativity Centre, Ludhiana, talked about ‘How NEP is contrary to the legacy of the freedom struggle: Need for students’ and youth’s movements.

If centralisation is happening from top, then only an effort by people from below can contradict it.” -Jagmohan Singh


In a press statement released by AIFRTE on 28th May 2022, the event was concluded with a call for active mobilisation against NEP. 

While these grave and burning issues surround the current policy, the progressive and pro-democratic forces of the country resolve to fight for equal, free, and quality education for all. We demand immediate annulment of the National Education Policy 2020. The BJP-RSS’s agenda for communalisation, de-academisation and privatization of education must be fought by mobilizing students, teachers, parents, and communities. AIFRTE unequivocally demands revocation of this irrational course structure. Else, students, teachers and parents will go on resisting this programme without any compromise.-press statement, AIFRTE.


Read also “Insult, Injury & Illness: DU’s Offline Exams

Feature Image: DU Beat Archives


Ankita Baidya

[email protected]

Manasvi Kadian

[email protected]

On Monday, 9 September, 2019, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) corresponded to the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding the issuance of salaries for the employees of the 28 colleges that are either fully or partially funded by the Delhi government.

The complaint is lodged with regard to the payment of due salaries owing to the stoppage of grants by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) relaxation. Where the formation of governing bodies prompted a deadlock between the University and the city government, the accusations from both ends claim to have delayed the process further.

Although, earlier in June Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia directed the Education Secretary, Sandeep Kumar to ensure the release of funds for three months to the 28 colleges, the employees of the 28 partially or fully funded colleges, under the Delhi government are constantly being subjected to delayed payments of salaries and other remunerations due to prolonged stoppage of grants by the AAP dispensation, said according to a letter by DUTA.

“You would agree that this action of denial of salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staff of these colleges amounts to a violation of basic human rights. Your reasons, whatsoever they may be, do not warrant such an assault on the living conditions of the employees,” it said.

It further quoted, “The government must also immediately release funds for the additional posts that are to be created for the teaching and non-teaching staff in the wake of the EWS reservations. ”

With these delays affecting the teachers of the institution directly, the futility in their responses have apparently affected the students of the varsity as well.

The necessary increment in the number of students across all disciplines under EWS have resuscitated all the aforementioned colleges with additional funds for salaries and infrastructural development to add for the proper functioning of the colleges with regard to academic and administrative responsibilities, says the association. While, some of the new courses that are incepted after receiving the necessary approvals designated in the administration, most of them are devoid of funds and appointment of teachers required for continuation of these courses.

“They (DU) are not forming governing bodies. They are deliberately not doing it because they want to do wrong appointments. They should bring governing bodies and let those bodies decide. How can we give funds when they are not bringing governing bodies?” says Deputy CM Manish Sisodia in response to this issue.

Where the University claims to have formed a committee to look into the issue, it has further speculated the matter and has stated some names to the government concerning the issue.

Where the twelve colleges that are fully-funded by the Delhi government includes Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education & Sports Science, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Shaheed Raj Guru College, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Bhagini Nivedita College, Keshav Maha Vidyalaya, Maharaja Agrasen College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Mahirishi Balmiki College of Education and Bhaskara Charya College of Applied Science

The sixteen partially-funded colleges are namely, Shivaji College, Motilal Nehru CollegeLaxmi Bai College, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Maitreyi College, SPM College for Women, Satyawati College, Vivekananda College, Rajdhani College, Kamala Nehru College, Gargi College, Swami Shardhanand College, Kalindi College, Bharti College, Sri Aurobindo College, and Delhi College of Arts and Commerce.

It is however paradoxical that in a recent tweet by the Delhi CM on the account of Teachers’ Day, he claims to be indebted to the teachers for their contribution in building the society, the DUTA probe sends his words otherwise.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Faizan Salik

[email protected]