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In search of dubious ‘glory’
By Obaid Nasir

In accordance with their ideology the BJP govt of UP has decided to introduce two new courses in undergraduate classes in universities in the state. One is related with the glorious past of India and the other with making them self dependent. Both the courses will be introduced from he next academic session. However, marks obtained in these subjects will not be counted for deciding division or merit, but passing them will be compulsory without which degrees will not be granted.

The govt. is afraid of facing opposition particularly for the course related with the ‘glorious past’ of the nation which is a favourite subject of ‘Sangh Parivar’ .This is seen as a first major step towards the saffronization of education, a process religiously started by union HRD Minister and Sangh Parivar's blue-eyed boy Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi from the very first day of his assuming the charge of this vital portfolio.

UP higher education minister and former president of BJP's state unit Dr. Om Prakash Singh told MG that the purpose of this decision is to make our youth proud of our ancient knowledge and imbibe in them a sense of national pride. They should know that our knowledge in the fields of science, medicine, mathematics, astronomy etc. was unparallel and it was actually ‘Bharat’ not Europe that introduced these branches of knowledge and enlightenment to the world. He however, clarified that efforts will be made that this step of govt. is not politicized and no communal colour is given to this decision. For this an expert committee has been formed and special instructions have been given to the committee to ensure that the course is prepared in accordance with the spirit behind the move and no religious touch is given to it. When asked to give reason for this clarification without even asking for it Dr. Singh said I am aware of the doubts striking the mind of minorities and moreover our political opponents who will leave no stone unturned to give it a political and communal colour. When reminded that already a book ‘Hamarey Poorvaj’ (Our ancestors) is prescribed in junior high school classes which is serving almost the same purpose Mr. Singh said the new course will be related strictly with our ancient knowledge in the fields of science, astronomy, astrology and mathematics etc... The subject will deal with the achievements of saints and scientists in ancient India .It is however, seen with doubt keeping in mind the track record, ideology and thinking of Sangh Parivar whose sense of racial superiority is no less dangerous than that of Nazis. Mr Singh clarified that there is no ‘hidden agenda ‘behind the move and every section of society should co-operate in our endeavour of making our youth proud of their past. He told the MG that in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) this subject has already been included but that is optional.

The second course is related to vocational studies so that the students after obtaining university degree do not run behind govt/private job and be able to setup their own small scale industry in accordance with the local need. For example students living around Moradabad will be imparted training regarding brassware manufacturing and its marketing including export. Around Ferozabad they will be taught about glassware and bangle manufacturing and so on. A committee comprising vice chancellors of Meerut, Bareilly and Poorvanchal (Jaunpur) universities has been constituted to prepare the curriculum for these subjects.

This is, however, to the credit of UP govt. that after a gap of 28 years the academic session is being regularized and examinations are being held on time .Student leaders prompted by opposition tried their best to disrupt the examination process but couldn't succeed .The govt. has also strictly banned coaching by university and degree college teachers who were exploiting poor students and compelling them to join their coaching. It has also allowed self financing courses in unaided but recognized degree colleges. Rules and regulations will, however, be fixed by the govt. to protect the interests of students and teaching community.

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