Sunday, 27 November 2022

UGC has recently prepared ‘Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions’ and a letter from the UGC secretary dated 17.4.15 requests all HEIs to implement these guidelines.

Some of the points in the guidelines include manual frisking/ frisking through metal detectors of the belongings of students/ visitors, biometric attendance in institute and hostels, fortification of the institution through, ‘a fence of spiralling barbed wires can be surmounted on the wall so that unauthorized access to the infrastructure is prevented effectively.’ Further, guidelines talks about setting up of police outposts in the campuses. These guidelines clearly smack of motive to curtail student mobility, foster moral policing in campuses and attack democratic student movement.

We would like to state that all HEIs in the Country have well established internal mechanism to deal with ‘safety’ of the students and others sections. The only way by which ‘safety’ can be ensured in our campuses is by strengthening the democratic processes within the campus. On the contrary the guidelines prepared by the UGC will act to further erode the campus democracy. We also understand that at a time when fresh round of academic reforms in the name of CBCS/RUSA are all set to destroy our Public Education, ruling class wants to curtail the students’ protests through such designs.

Central Executive Committee of Students’ Federation of India rejects the UGC guidelines and warns the ruling classes that any tampering with the democratic rights of the student community, will have to face militant actions at the ground.

Released by

Dr. V Sivadasan               Ritabrata Banerjee
President                          General Secretary

More than 3000 people have died and thousands have been injured in a devastating earthquake which has hit the neighbouring Nepal. Bordering areas in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have also been affected by the tremors, with more than 60 people having died and hundreds being injured.

Central Executive committee of Stduents’ Federation of India expresses grief over the loss of human lives caused by the quake and stands with the thousands of people who are struggling to rebuild their lives afresh.

The scale of devastation is so huge that it requires humanitarian intervention from all corners of the world. At this juncture it becomes important that all those who stand for humanity step up to help in the ongoing relief operations.

The Central Executive Committee of SFI calls upon all its Units to start fund collection drive for the Earth quake relief. We also appeal to the student community across the country and other sections to help generously in the fund drive.

Released by

Dr. V Sivadasan            Ritabrata Banerjee
President                        General Secretary

Central Executive Committee of SFI calls upon its units to observe April 2, as the day of campus democracy. April 2nd, 2015 marks the second anniversary of the sacrifice of Com. Sudipto, the SFI leader who was killed by the West Bengal Police under the auspices of the TMC govt in power in the state while participating in a students’ rally to restore students' union elections in West Bengal. 
This call by the SFI CEC comes at a time when multiple assaults are being launched by the Narendra Modi led NDA on the education sphere of the country. On one hand NDA government is intensifying the pursuit of the very same neo-liberal policies followed by the erstwhile UPA regime while on the other hand it is firing out all cylinders blazing to saffronize education to suit the RSS's communal agenda. Parallel to this there is a continuation of attacks on campus democracy to silence all the resistance against the anti-student moves of both the central government and various state governments. There is a brutal crackdown on student protests by the police and disciplinary actions by right wing university administrations across the country on students who dare to raise their voices against the neo-liberal policies. 
Recent, incidence of police brutality in Shimla is fresh in our memories where a student march led by the SFI was attacked by the police resulting in serious injuries on many students. The police arrested 17 activists including SFI National President Com V Sivadasan and subjected them to inhuman torture to suppress their voices. Even now, six SFI activists are continuing to languish in prisons for their only "crime" of raising their voices against the anti-student Himachal Pradesh government. In Pondicherry University students are fighting for an entire year braving suspension and other atrocities against ragging and sexual harassment. Hundreds of students are facing police cases from Kerala to West Bengal for raising voices for their democratic rights. The students’ union elections are not conducted in a large majority of the campuses of the nation. The Lyngdho has become a tool in the hands of the autocratic ruling class to draw the boundaries for students' activism in many campuses. The new education policy of the current Central govt aims to take away whatsoever democratic space is left for students from them. 
At this moment of serious threat to the democratic rights of the students there is no other option left before us but to struggle. The SFI Central executive committee demands the central government to pass a legislation ensuring democratically conducted campus union elections in all the educational institutions of the nation. SFI dips its flag in the inspiring memories of comrade Sudipto Gupta and calls the student community to intensify the struggles to deepen campus democracy across the nation.
Released by
Dr. V. Sivadasan       Ritabrata Banerjee, MP 
President                   General Secretary

The student movement in Himachal Pradesh is going through yet another phase of repression at the hand of ruling classes. 2 days ago, police lashed out an all-out attack over the students who were marching to Vidhan Sabha at the call of SFI demanding, increased budgetary allocation, roll back of fee hike, students’ union elections and roll back of the disastrous RUSA/CBCS. 54 students were injured in the brutal police lathi charge, while the entire leadership was put behind the bars. Policemen in plain clothes attacked the state office of SFI, ransacked the office and arrested all those who were present there, including a 65 year old man. Al those who were arrested had to go through brutal physical torture inside the police station. Since the last 2 days, state machinery has been smelling the blood of student activists, forcing more than 100 student activists to go underground.

Student movement in HP is going through a difficult financial situation as well, with the high medical costs for those who have been injured in the police attack. The struggle in Himachal Pradesh is linked to the national struggle against the commercialisation and privatization of the public education. In such a context, it becomes the duty of the student movement in various parts of the country to stand up in solidarity with the Himachal student movement and support it in every possible way.

We call upon all our state units to initiate “Himachal Pradesh struggle fund” drive and go among the students, as well the wider masses. We also appeal the wider democratic minded sections to contribute in this struggle fund. Every single step of support for the HP student movement will strengthen the national movement in defence of Public education.

Released by
Dr. V. Sivadasan (President)
Ritabrata Banerjee MP (General Secretary)