The University Grants Commission (UGC) has requested all universities, faculties and technical institutions to put up banners thanking Prime Minister Modi for “starting free vaccination for 18 years and above age group”, sources mentioned Monday.
The revised pointers for COVID-19 vaccination introduced by the Prime Minister earlier this month got here into impact on Monday. Under these pointers, these aged 18 and above are eligible for free vaccination.
In a WhatsApp message despatched to numerous college officers Sunday, UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain additionally requested the institutions to share the banners on their social media pages.
While he didn’t reply to calls searching for his feedback, officers of not less than three universities confirmed having acquired the “directive”.
“The Government of India is starting free vaccination for 18 years and above age group from tomorrow–21st June, 2021. In this regard, universities and colleges are requested to kindly display these hoardings and banners in their institutions.
“The authorised design (creatives) of hoardings and banners in Hindi and English, as offered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, are connected for your prepared reference,” reads Jain’s purported text message.
The poster has a picture of the Prime Minister with “Thank you PM Modi” written on it.
Institutions such as Delhi University, Hyderabad University, LNCT University in Bhopal, Bennett University, Northcap University in Gurgaon, among others shared the banners on their social media pages with hashtag “ThankyouModiji”.
The move drew sharp reactions from several quarters including academicians, student bodies and politicians.
Swaraj India President and former UGC member Yogendra Yadav said on Twitter, “As a former member of the UGC, I’m mortified. Things had been rotten on the UGC even then (2010-12), however such servility was unimaginable. Everyday, we uncover a brand new low.”
Delhi University Professor and former Executive Council member Rajesh Jha said, “This is unprecedented. Universities can’t be used for propaganda of the federal government.
“Universities are not extended arms of the government that they can be used for such things. By tweeting something from the official handle, Delhi University is projecting a single opinion which is not the scenario since there are differing opinions and viewpoints within the university,” he mentioned.
His views had been echoed by Abha Dev Habib of Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA), who alleged institutions are getting used to run propaganda for the PM.
In a Facebook publish, she mentioned free vaccination is a proper, funded by the taxpayers’ money, and any delay in rolling it out is a blame the federal government can not escape.
“UGC demanding real relief in terms of compensation, death gratuity and scholarship for students… nothing on that. We have written for development of medical facilities to the MoH… nothing on that. Ok is a Poster as a virus to overwrite all of that!” she mentioned.
JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) Secretary Moushumi Basu mentioned, “Why does it always have to be about the Prime Minister? Even the vaccination certificates have his mugshot. Isn’t it our right to be vaccinated for free after all the mess that they have created?
“Even if we have now to thank, why cannot we thank the healthcare employees. To be instructed by the UGC how we have now to thank is simply not achieved. There is definitely an issue. It is all fairly weird.”
DU professor Hansraj Suman said, “It is kind of condemnable. No different authorities has used an autonomous physique just like the UGC for its propaganda. Instead of utilizing money for such authorities promotion, that money can be utilized to give cellphones to college students who’re dealing with difficulties in accessing on-line lessons.”
Earlier in the day, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had alleged that the Centre government is putting pressure on officials in Delhi to issue advertisements thanking the Prime Minister for free COVID-19 vaccines.
Neeraj Kundan, the national president of the Congress-affiliated National Students’ Union of India, said, “It is hilarious that college students have not but been vaccinated and they’re being requested to thank our PM. Students would have been grateful had the federal government introduced charge waivers or scholar mortgage waivers for them.”
“Instead, many college students have lost a whole tutorial year and their overseas college prospects have been affected since college students weren’t vaccinated on time. Even in any case this, the federal government is considering its promotion, which is a joke,” he said.
Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union vice president Saket Moon alleged, “The authorities is attempting to use the state of affairs for its propaganda which isn’t good.”