The General Secretary on the Indian Institute of Information Technology Bill

Ritabrata Banerjee in Rajyasabha, The Speech

I rise here to support the bill with some suggestions . As a student of politics , I learnt from my days of inception in the political field that education is a theatre where battle of ideas are performed , not only this , I have learned from great teachers of mine that the ideas of the ruling class in every epoche are the ruling ideas, not only this; which has the disposal the means of material production also interns controls the means of mental production .

When I stand here to support the bill with some suggestion sir, see the question of access which has been built at length starting from the Mongaker to respected Tarun Vijay and other people, this question of access is very important when we speak about higher education. Because as far as the .. Idon't want to talk about the developed countries, even in developing countries the age group of higher education, that is 17 to 23 years, in our country unfortunately even after so many years of independence we are still lagging behind. This enrollment in this higher education age group is not very fine. So whenever we discuss anything about higher education, we come to fray. Now this research lead institutes in experience of the central universities are there, I am in complete agreement with the functions that has been mentioned in the bill. but we must remember about the experience of the central university bill that was passed in the 14th Loksabha . What happened, in many universities,  universities were created,  universities were declared without any infrastructure , and more importantly , there was a motive of centralization, sweeping powers were there in the hand of vice chancellors . We have seen , not only the new institutes , but also the existing institutes, the case of Delhi University was there , where the Vice-Chancellor has been at the helm of affairs , it was an attack on the democratic curriculum , it was a completely Centralization tendency . So , I just want to mention here , the minister is here, that it has to be kept in mind though  the intension is good but the misuse mustn't be there . Now general aspect of the bill it has dealt with the importance of I.T. . I don't want to go into hat. The research lead institutions which have defined objectives of promotion of Indian Economy , but I have some reservation on the objective of the way of growth is put forward . The growth must be an inclusive one . The question of access comes into fray again , and the question of the weaker sections that has been dealt , no mention regarding the reservation of the SC , ST , minority , OBC in the board of governors . Because without ensuring social justice , Dr. Mongekor was dealing  at length in a country like ours , where nothing can be straight-jacketed , where unity lies in diversity , the question of social justice, the question of putting greater emphasis on the social justice is a need of the hour and I believe that the government will take adequate measures so that the issues can be addressed .

Now the main stakeholder, as I belong to a and come from a student movement, I happen to be a part of a part of the student movement still . The main stakeholder at the students , definitely other people are there , but the students are the main stakeholders, but there is no provision for the students in any form in any forum.  Now how to question these issues , because in many such institutions particularly these institutions of technical learning , professional education, students at times are subjected to mental and physical torture . So no forum is there for the students in this bill and one question that definitely comes into fray is the formation of the Lingdoh Committee . Lingdoh committee have been found during the UPA government time , there have been many undemocratic suggestion but the most democratic suggestion was that you must have election in government , government aided and even private institutions . So this question, because in the Senate or the Syndicate the student representation , that point needs to be mentioned by seal . Now we have been hearing aboutmake in India , I want to congratulate the minister , she spoke about 'think in India'. This is important, because there is question of brain drain that is happening . But if you want to make this into reality, this question of Make in India , Think in India , you have to invest in youth . Investing in Indian youth is the necessity of the time and in greater way you have to invest in youth . Now , Tarunji was speaking about our glorious past , about Takshila and Nalanda . Takshila and Nalanda were not only Universities  . They were areas where battle of ideas were performed and battle of ideas were continued throughout the country . As a student I want to mention , when Iliad  was being completed , Homer was trying to write Odyssey , he ended Iliad in that fashion through Odysseus  who was living, who said at that time ,  that if I ever live to tell my story , let people say I walked with Giants , Men rise and men fall like the winter wheats but these names will never die . Let people say I lived at a time of Hector , the tamer of Horses, Let people say I lived at a time of the mighty Achilles. So the question is if we can create a manpower . Its a question of investing in our country. 54% of the Indian Population have an average age of 25 years . So we must look upon this population as a resource, not as a liability and therefore let the battle of ideas would continue , and one suggestion , one slogan I want to present before the government , let equitable Access to quality education be the thrust of the government .

01.12.2014