Remembering Vidrohi at Godavari Dhaba
India Must Maintain Sovereignty at WTO: Anil Sadgopal
Dec 14, Mahi Mandvi:
In wake of the10th WTO Ministerial Conference being conducted in Nairobi from 15th to 18th December, a public talk, followed by a movie screening, was held on Monday evening at the Mahi Mandavi mess in JNU. The talk was delivered by Professor Anil Sadgopal, a known public rights crusader and academician. After his speech, the 2007 movie Battle in Seattle, directed by Stuard Townsend, was shown to abou…t 70 students who had gathered for the session.
Shweta Raj, President, AISA, JNU, in her introductory speech talked about how the #OccupyUGC movement, which has been continuing well over 55 days now, is a significant protest against the alleged trade of higher education due to be manifested at the present WTO talks. Professor Sadgopal, in his address, mentioned about several things ranging from the pitiable decline in the country’s educational status since the 1990s to the emergence of collaborations like Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) and monitoring bodies like Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRA). He predicted an ‘epistemological attack on the value system’ if higher education is sold off to corporate giants and government did not take a firm stand to protect people’s rights.
He stressed that India must maintain and reflect sovereignty in its decision-making process at the WTO talks to prevent the future of the Indian students, especially those from the underprivileged sections, from becoming a utility tool for the capitalists who wish to commodify education entirely. The session ended with Battle in Seattle – a film based on the 1999 protests which succeeded in collapsing the proceedings of the then conducted 3rd Round of WTO Trade Negotiations.
One of the students, Anamika Singh said, “It was good but I think it just showed one part of the picture. I got to know about a lot of things I was unaware of and I’ll definitely keep an eye on all the happenings ahead.”
The 10th WTO Ministerial at Nairobi begins today and a People’s Vigil has already started at Jantar Mantar as part of the ‘Bhumi Adhikar Andolan’s Chetavni Rally’. The vigil will go on till 18th December.
Shipra and Koyna hostels no longer a gated community…
The gate between Shipra and Koyna usually closes at 10 pm, severely restricting mobility of those walking between Shipra and Koyna. After ten one has to take a
detour through the park or road before Mahi-Mandvi Hostel. The students felt it was an unnecessary hassle for them.
Security was often cited as the reason for gating these hostels. But how exactly is closing of the gates between these two hostels supposed to account for that, was in question till today when it was decided to abandon this practice.
A signature campaign started in both these hostels, roughly two months back, saw around thousand students signing a petition to tackle this issue, made such a move possible. This comes into effect tonight. The gate between the two hostels would remain open always.
Japanese PM Awarded Honorary Degree by JNU
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on Friday awarded an honorary doctorate in International Relations by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) at Taj Palace, Delhi for Japan’s role in India’s economic development.
While conferring the degree on Abe, JNU Vice Chancellor Sudhir Kumar Sopory informed him about Japanese Studies Programme at research, postgraduate and undergraduate levels in JNU.
“These programmes are playing very important role in imparting teaching and research and making strong impact on qualitatively improving Indian, Asian and global understanding of contemporary Japan and its foreign relations,” Sopory said.
Speaking on the occasion, Abe said, “Japan’s and India’s bilateral relation has the greatest potential in any bilateral relationship in the world. Japan will continuously offer cooperation for the development of India with the government and private sector working together.”
“With regard to Japanese studies in JNU, taking into account its potential, Japan would like to offer its cooperation as to make Japanese education and Japanese Studies more robust,” he added.
The Japanese PM is on a three-day visit to India.
The Informer Staff.