The Supreme Court should pass a strict rule that if it’s for the public good, it should not be popularised as the contribution of an individual or a party
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has whipped up a controversy by issuing a directive on its website recently for universities and colleges across the country to set up ‘selfie points’ at strategic locations on their campuses to raise awareness among youngsters about India’s achievements in various fields. But educationists, students and experts are not pleased with ‘politicisation of education’, stated a report in The New Indian Express.
“Let us celebrate and disseminate the incredible strides made by our country by establishing a ‘Selfie Point’ within your institution. The aim of ‘Selfie Point’ is to create awareness among the youth about India’s achievements in various fields, particularly the new initiatives under the NEP 2020,” read the official letter. The presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cutout on the pre-approved design is what has angered all.
Higher Education Minister Dr MC Sudhakar said, “I heard about this through the media. I am yet to see the directives and based on that we will decide. This is, however, not the right thing to do and not all directives by UGC need to be followed. Our universities cannot be politicised like this. Since we have not accepted NEP 2020 and will have our own SEP, why will we propagate the achievements of the policy?”
The themes for selfie points include a broad spectrum of national initiatives such as Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat and major thrust areas of NEP 2020, read the letter. Higher Education Institutions (HEls) may place the selfie points only as per the approved designs at a strategic place within the campus, it added. UGC also directed the universities “to encourage students and visitors to capture and share these special moments on social media platforms, fostering a sense of collective pride”.
Student organisations questioned the necessity of these selfie points when so many student issues are going unaddressed. A student from the University of Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) said, “This initiative is not favourable to students. So many government colleges and schools don’t have basic facilities and we are promoting selfie points.” Another BSc student from MES College in Bengaluru said, “Why are they trying to promote a political figure in college? If our college puts up these points we will not use them.”
Experts said such political advertisements have existed for a long time. Not just PM Modi, all ministers are politicising education, they added. “Unfortunately, such political propaganda is done by all political parties in India. As far as the UGC directive is concerned, it should be only the UGC emblem and the universities,” said Ganesh Bhatt, educationist.
The Supreme Court should pass a strict rule that if it’s for the public good, it should not be popularised as the contribution of an individual or a party, they said.
“We will not use them”: UGC's selfie points at institutes irks students, educationistsNews Related