Lok Sabha

July 12, 2019

Saugata Roy speaks on The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Saugata Roy speaks on The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019


Madam, I rise to speak on The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, which is meant to set up two universities in Andhra Pradesh, one for everyone and another for tribal people. This is part of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. I thank the Minister for fulfilling the commitments made in this Act. Andhra Pradesh has bled from the partition of the State and so that should be made up.

The Minister has allocated Rs 450 crore for one university and Rs 420 crore for another university in the first phase. More would be allocated later. This tribal university will be the first such university in India, so we would have to devise special courses, especially on tribal anthropology, social anthropology, etc. I am sure all that will be done very well.

Madam, I have one difference with the idea of central universities confined with one State. University means ‘vishwavidyalaya’, that is, you bring the entire world’s knowledge into one place and I feel that a central university may be established in a State but it should appeal to the whole country. Students from all over the country should come to the university.

Delhi University is one of the best universities in the country and students from all over are coming here. But cut off marks are 99.5 per cent; unless Delhi University increases the number of seats in the colleges they will not be able to tackle this terrible pressure. There is another university in Delhi – that is Jawaharlal Nehru University – which truly attracts students from all over the country, but the Government does not like it because of the likes of Kanhaiya Kumar and others. But I think it is an excellent university for studying social science and other science subjects.

While speaking of this, there is only one central university in Bengal – that is Visva Bharati University. It has a legacy of freedom struggle. Gurudev had requested Mahatma Gandhi to take over Visva Bharati and Mahatma Gandhi requested Jawaharlal Nehru; that is how Visva Bharati University came into being. Now the university is in a bad state. There are lots of vacancies for teachers. So, I would request that Visva Bharati University should be taken care of properly. There is a demand for another full fledged central university in Bengal; I would request the Minister to give attention to the same.

Lastly, I want to say a word about curriculum. I read in the newspapers, two days back, that a university in Nagpur is including the history of RSS in the curriculum, I strongly oppose this. RSS was not a part of our freedom struggle and its history should not be taught in universities and colleges. They did not participate in the ‘Quit India’ movement nor in the 1930s movement.

Madam, Jawaharlal Nehru had said that universities should foster scientific temperament; pseudoscience like astrology should not be taught in the universities, whatever be the Minister’s personal inclination. I want the universities to be the real centres of modern, scientific knowledge in both science and humanities. Only then the purpose for so much money being spent will be fulfilled. Let the universities not work to the RSS agenda but to a national agenda.

Thank you.