The Left parties – Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party — have issued the following statement:

We appeal to the Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, to withdraw the Notification of May 10, 2016, announced as the 3rd Amendment to the UGC Regulations. We perceive the withdrawal necessary in the interests of Quality of Teaching and Research, as well as, equity between various social groups and classes. The provisions of the Notification will have the following negative repercussions on quality and equity:
1. Tutorials have been excluded from the definition of “Direct Teaching” and the importance of practical in Science subjects has been devalued. This will effectively increase the per-teacher workload in institutions and adversely impact on quality. It will also render thousands of teaching posts surplus and directly affect the livelihood and job-prospects of young academicians and researchers.
2. The Lecture-centric approach to workload is at variance with academic practice in all renowned universities across the world. It hampers active teaching-learning and does not allow teachers to address the individual learning needs of the pupils.
3. Experience of the API system of quantifying teachers’ work in points has shown that it has worked against quality by encouraging spurious research to collect points. It has simultaneously become a means to deny promotion to lakhs of teachers and degrade their service conditions. This will result in the flight of academic talent from Indian universities and colleges. The API system as a basis for promotion, therefore, ought to be given up.
4. The downsizing of faculty points to the Government’s drastic cuts in public-spending on higher education. The slashing of the UGC’s budget by 55% is a concrete example. This is at odds with its professed aim to substantially increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education and improve standards. It will particularly hit the aspirations of the marginalised sections of our Society (SCs, STs, OBCs, Persons with Disabilities and Women) who have been given Reservation in jobs and educational institutions in the Public-Sector. The demand for jobs and access to quality higher education is most among these sections and the Government seems insensitive towards their needs and aspirations.
5. Educational institutions are not insulated from the prejudices and divisive attitudes that prevail in Society – based on gender, caste, sexuality and religious identity. Linking Students-feedback to promotions of teachers may become yet another way of reinforcing prejudices rather than eradicating them.
6. The provision that only articles / books published in UGC approved journals and publishers will merit recognition is inherently faulty. It is well known that reputed journals often refuse to publish articles critical of orthodox and dominant views and that significant contribution to knowledge occur in not so reputed journals too. Vesting in any interested party the power to approve journals is disastrous for academic freedom and advancement of knowledge. Such a restrictive approach is no less harmful than proliferation of spurious journals.
We also urge the Government to withdraw higher education from the WTO-GATS and substantially increase the budgetary allocation on higher education for both technical and non-technical streams in public-administered institutions. A narrow focus on Skill-Development will neither benefit Skill-Development nor the wider array of social and democratic aims related to higher education.