Sixteen students’ organisations announced the formation of ‘United Students of India’ on Tuesday as a joint platform to hold nationwide protests against the National Education Policy (NEP) of the Union government.
The move is in line with the activities of the platform of Opposition parties in the INDIA bloc. Student organisations of the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, Left parties, DMK and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are included in the combined front.
At a press conference in New Delhi, the leaders of the outfits said that they have a membership base of about five crore students after joining hands for the new platform.
‘Will mobilise students ahead of LS polls’
Leaders of the United Students of India, including C.V.M.P. Ezhilarasan, Mayukh Biswas, Anurag Nigam and Prasenjit Kumar, said the platform will work with the slogan ‘Save Education, Reject NEP; Save India, Reject BJP’. The leaders said they will mobilise students against the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha election in 2024. “By implementing the NEP, the BJP is playing with the future of the students,” they said.
They alleged that common entrance tests such as Common University Entrance Test (CUET) are there to help big coaching centres and the NEP has been conceptualised for commercialising and communalising education. “The attack on quality education in India is scaling dangerous heights under the current BJP-led Union government. The RSS-backed government not only aims to undermine and dismantle the public education system but also seeks to replace it with a communal, destructive scheme that fundamentally contradicts the constitutional vision of education,” the leaders said.
‘Fighting for education sector’
They added that the new platform will strengthen the fight to protect the education and employment sector in India. “We have decided to conduct campaigns across the country, hold a joint Parliament march in Delhi on January 12, 2024 and United Student Rally in Chennai on February 1, 2024,” the leaders said.
Mr. Nigam, AAP’s students wing leader, said referring to the remand of senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia that the BJP is punishing a State Education Minister for rejuvenating government schools.