Thousands of students’ from the Congress students’ wing NSUI — led by senior party leaders — clashed with the police during a mega protest in Bhopal against the New Education Policy. A lathicharge by the police did not deter the protesters from marching towards the residence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Party sources said students from all 52 districts of the state are participating in the protest, attended by NSUI National president Neeraj Kundan. PCC chief Kamal Nath, former ministers PC Sharma, Lakhan Ghanghoria, MLAs Kunal Choudhary, Vipin Wankhede and and the party’s youth leaders liked Vivek Tripathi.
The students contend that members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes are not receiving their scholarship. Besides they pointed out other loopholes in the new education policy that’s being implemented in the state.
The march — for which no request has been made for the police permission — started around 1 pm. The students gathered at the Congress office at Link Road-1 in Bhopal from where they meant to march the 5 km distance to the Chief Minister’s house in Shyamla hills, but were stopped by the police just outside the party office.
The police, unable to stop them at the first barricade, used batons.
Visuals from the spot showed the police in riot gear trying to beat back the students, most of whom managed to evade them and go over the barricades.
Mr Chouhan was not at home at the time.
“We have started a nationwide campaign ‘Save Education, Save India’,” said Vivek Tripathi, president of the Youth Congress media cell.
“In Madhya Pradesh, the scholarship of SC-ST, OBC students are irregular because of which college administration puts pressure on them for fees, and they are suffering. Education mafia runs everything. They are distributing fake degrees. We just wanted to meet the Chief Minister, but the students were lathi-charged, the police are registering cases against them. Many students have been injured, they are admitted to the hospital,” he added.
The education policy in the state has been revised after 34 years.
Under the new policy, regional language has also been introduced on a pilot basis.
In board exams for Classes 10 and 12, students will have a higher number of multiple-choice and analytical questions from 2022.
Schools and higher education institutes would allow students to pick and choose subjects based on their interests and aptitude. This means an engineering student should also be able to study economics or design in the same institute.
A major change proposed in the education policy is allowing foreign universities to set up campuses in India and giving complete entry-exit flexibility for courses taken.