As many as 100 research scholars from various institutions in Bengaluru shared a discussion in order to highlight issues that are important in relation to the contemporary socio-political scenario. Bengaluru Collective, formed by the Institute for Social and Economic Change, National Law School of India University, Indian Institute of Science and other higher education institutions.
Last Wednesday, this group held their first conference on the topic ‘Higher Education Under Attack.’ The participants of the discussion mostly focused on the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), Repeal of University Grants Commission Act. This legal measure was seen as a systematic attack on the autonomy of public universities and exercising control over their curriculum.
Prabhat Patnaik, noted economist, delivered the keynote address and opened a discussion about the factors affecting higher education. One of the solutions that came up was to have a publicly funded higher education system. It was also brought up that commodification of institutes of higher education happens more in developing countries as opposed to developed and advanced nations.
The programme was meant to bring together and provide a platform for guided academicians, research scholars and like-minded people to debate and discuss, added Neenu Suresh, a research scholar at NLSIU.
She also added, “We felt that a collective voice in the city was missing and we want to have informed debate on topics affecting the masses and issues that we feel are being neglected.”