Youth Against Modi: Students of India Unite to Remove Modi Govt

Youth Against Modi Protest by Students on February 18, 2019. Photo: CPI(M)
Youth Against Modi Protest by Students on February 18, 2019. Photo: CPI(M)

Hundreds of thousands of students are today protesting in India to highlight government’s failure to create a robust education ecosystem in the country which has resulted in severe unemployment.

A slew of student unions that are participating in a march complain that the government under Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has completely failed to provide right education and jobs to the youth.

According to a new report released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), nearly 11 million Indians lost their jobs during 2018. The report reveals that people belonging to vulnerable sections of society were the worst hit by job losses in 2018.

The CMIE report further showed that the number of unemployed has been constantly increasing in the country. According to the report, the number of employed persons recorded in December 2018 was at 397 million, which is 10.9 million less than the figure of 407.9 million seen a year ago at the end of December 2017.

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Meanwhile, the protesting students complain that the Modi government has no plan to improve school education that is going from bad to worse.

They say nine crore (90 million) children in India still do not go to school; the number is the highest in the world. The proportion of children (age 6-14) enrolled in schools has fallen below 3% for the first time in 2018.

Students demand an increase in government spending to at least 6% of GDP and 10% of the Central budget on education.

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“Modi government assumed office with the promise of raising public spending on education to 6% of GDP. However, the reality is that the education spending has declined from 0.67% of GDP in 2014-15 to 0.45% in 2018-19,” students tweeted with the hashtags #WarOnStudents and #YouthAgainstModi.

They also demand the establishment of a nationwide fully state-funded and free “Common Education System” from KG to post-graduation.

They complain that Skill India is a mere slogan of Modi while the Skill India program has completely failed, as out of the 41.3 lakh people trained in 3 years, only 6.15 lakhs or hardly 15% got jobs because there are fewer jobs in the country.

They also say that 56% of the funds allocated to the “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” scheme for girls’ education were used for publicity of Modi government through ad spending.

It is also stated that the allocation for higher education has remained stagnant at 1.4% of the Budget for the last 5 years in spite of Modi’s slogans like “Sabko Shiksha Achi Shiksha” (good education for all).

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Rakesh Raman