West Bengal Education minister Partha Chatterjee today accused the Centre of trying to saffronise the education system by asking the institutions of higher education to make arrangements for students to view the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11. The prime minister will deliver the speech that day on the occasion of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya's centenary celebration and 125th year of Swami Vivekananda's Chicago address. "This is nothing but an attempt to saffronise the education system in the country.
I have never seen such a 'Tughlaqi' decision ever," Chatterjee told reporters at the state secretariat today. The education minister said that the state government would not allow the universities and the higher education institutions in the state to follow the order. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had yesterday sent letters to universities and other institutes of higher education to arrange facilities to teachers and students to view Modi's speech on September 11. Chatterjee said that the Centre was "forcibly" trying to impose such orders. "There has been no discussion with the state government regarding this matter. And the UGC is sending instructions directly to state-run universities despite there is an education department of the state government," he said. The minister also criticised the Centre for putting Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and Swami Vivekananda on the same platform and described it as a "wrong move". "Vivekananda is a global figure and the move to keep him on the same platform with Deendayal Upadhyaya is not a correct move," he said. The UGC has asked the institutes to identify a common place, audio visual room or an auditorium inside the campus for wide viewing of the PM's speech on September 11. The UGC letter has also asked the universities to install televisions or projection facilities for viewing of PM's speech.
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