The University Grants Commission
has directed universities in the country to observe Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary today with “events built around the theme of unity”. The notice, issued by commission secretary P K Thakur, says, “The HRD ministry has informed that it has been decided by Hon’ble HRM (human resources ministry) that all higher educational institutions in the country will observe ‘Nation Salutes Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’ on 31st October.”
It suggested that universities conduct plays or songs on the theme of unity, and essay competitions on Patel’s contributions. It also asked the institutions to send photographs of the events. Observers said the notice appeared “binding” though UGC plays an advisory role in higher education under the UGC Act.