The University Grants Commission directed universities and higher educational institutes across the country to celebrate 29th September as “Surgical Strike Day”. The UGC directive for the same came on Thursday, which directed the universities and higher educational institutes to mark the second anniversary of Indian Army’s strike against terror cells based across the border in Pakistan. The surgical strikes were carried out across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir by members of the Indian Army in retaliation to the Uri army base camp attacks. UGC has issued circulars to vice chancellors of all universities with a list of activities which should be undertaken on the 29th September following the central government’s decision to celebrate it as ‘Surgical Strike Day’. The Human Resources Department has clarified that the circular issued by the UGC is advisory in nature and any university or higher educational institute is under no compulsion to abide by the same.
On 29th Sept (anniversary of surgical strike), we have asked colleges, those who want to, can arrange a lecture by ex-army officers who can tell the students how defence forces defend the country and how the surgical strike was conducted: Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar pic.twitter.com/PZHgPhUX9H
— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2018
The circular is only advisory in nature, not mandatory or imposed: HRD Ministry sources https://t.co/pGaRwtof2F
— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2018
There are numerous activities planned by the UGC to mark the day long celebrations for the surgical strikes which include talk sessions by ex-servicemen which will highlight the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces, special parades and also visit to exhibitions and sending cards to the armed forces as a symbol of pledging their support. The circular reads, “A multimedia exhibition will be organised around India Gate on 29 September. Similar exhibitions may be organised in states, Union Territories, important towns and cantonments across the country. The institutions should encourage students and faculty members to visit these exhibitions”, The UGC communication sent out to all the Vice Chancellors on Thursday mentions that, “The NCC units of all universities should organise a special parade on 29 September after which the NCC commander shall address them on the modalities of protection of the borders. The varsities may organise a talk-session calling ex-servicemen to sensitise students about sacrifices made by the armed forces.”
The UGC circular advises universities to urge students to pledge their support to the armed forces in written format which could be conveyed in digital or physical format to the members of the armed forces. “The letters and cards should be shared with PRO Defence and PIB for publicity across various media,” the UGC said in its circular. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters that the move to celebrate the second anniversary of the surgical strike has been thought of to pay respect to the armed forces and highlight their contribution and achievements. The move to celebrate the same had in fact been suggested by the students and various college authorities themselves to the government.
However this noble thought has met with criticism coming from educationists from some universities, some professors from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi have tried to oppose the idea. A professor from JNU was reported as saying that this was an attempt by the central government to make people take the pledge of nationalism. Various social media users have welcomed this idea by the central government to celebrate the anniversary of surgical strikes. Youth wing of Congress NSUI and the West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee have also opposed this move due to their own vested interests, while the majority of the institutions and universities have welcomed the move.
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