The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre appears to be playing politics with India’s most important resource – its youth. The latest victim was Rohith Vemula, who took his own life when he was suspended by the Hyderabad Central University and his stipend was stopped because of pressure from Union HRD Ministry. This trend is being seen across India. In some cases reason cited is “lack of funds”, while in others stipend cuts are used as a means to control activism of students. In the revised estimates of Budget 2014-15, the government had reduced funds for higher education by Rs 3,900 crore, which has put Universities under financial stress, hurting their ability to disburse stipends in a timely manner and has put research scholars under tremendous stress.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)