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SFI to oppose FDI in education

Staff Reporter

To pressure Centre to withdraw from the GATT


  • 31 other nations sign pact for allowing FDI
  • United States is not a party to the agreement
  • FDI to undermine `intellectual self-reliance' of the nation

    VIJAYAWADA: The Students Federation of India (SFI) will campaign against opening of education sector to foreign direct investment (FDI) and bring pressure on the Central Government to withdraw from the GATT that allowed 100 per cent FDI in the sector, said federation's all-India vice-president R. Arun Kumar.

    Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he said India along with 31 other countries signed an agreement allowing 100 per cent FDI in school, college, adult and other educational services. A capitalist country like the United States refused to sign the agreement with regard to schools and colleges, but allowed FDI only in adult and other educational services.

    One hundred per cent FDI would undermine the "intellectual self-reliance" of the nation and it should withdraw from the pact at the next meeting to be held next month in Hong Kong, Mr. Kumar said.

    Meet in Hyderabad

    The 12th All-India conference of the SFI to be held from November 17 to 21 in Hyderabad would discuss the right to education bill, intellectual self-reliance of the nation and the democratic rights of the students.

    Court rulings

    The Kerala and Rajasthan High Courts had passed judgments against elections to student unions. The high courts were against elections to student unions on the grounds that they were vitiating the academic atmosphere. These judgments were presently under the review of the Supreme Court.

    The SFI supported the implementation of a judgment of the Rajasthan High Court in 1992. The court in its 1992 judgment favoured the conduct of elections with some rules and guidelines to protect the students from muscle and money power.

    Citing the Jawaharlal Nehru University as a model, Mr. Kumar said student union elections did not vitiate the academic atmosphere of this institution though it held elections every year.

    The rise in urban and rural unemployment, increase in atrocities on girl students would be discussed elaborately at the national conference to be held in Hyderabad next month, Mr. Kumar said.

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