- With dialogue, there will be no necessity of agitations: Javadekar
- Prakash Javadekar replaced Smriti Irani as HRD Minister in cabinet rejig
- Unlike Ms Irani, Mr Javadekar is seen as non-confrontational
New Education Minister Prakash Javadekar reached out to students on day one, asserting that dialogue is the key to avoid the kind of agitations seen on campuses around the country in recent months.
Mr Javadekar, seen as non-confrontational and reportedly handpicked by the party leadership for the complete contrast he provides to his aggressive predecessor Smriti Irani, said he would use his experience as a student leader to initiate “good dialogue” with students to prevent protests and clashes on campuses.
“I am a product of student agitation, so we will always talk with everybody. With dialogues in place, there will be no necessity of agitations,” said Mr Javadekar, who was repeatedly reminded that he inherits simmering discontent in university campuses from Ms Irani’s two-year tenure.
Appointed the new minister for Human Resource Development in Tuesday’s big cabinet reshuffle, Mr Javadekar met Ms Irani at her home yesterday, said he would consult her and take forward her “good initiatives.”
Ms Irani’s handling of student protests at the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University and at Hyderabad University over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula earlier this year has come in for severe criticism both by rival political parties and by academics.
There have also been allegations that the ruling BJP is trying to “saffronise education,” by setting a right-wing agenda through syllabus and textbooks in schools and colleges.
“Education is not a subject of party politics, it is an issue of everybody,” said Mr Javadekar on Wednesday. But he rejected the allegation of “saffronisation” saying, “there is no such thing.”
The new minister said he saw education as “an emancipator, a real change agent” and emphasised the need to “revolutionise our education,” improving its quality and making it more meaningful. The Prime Minister he said had a vision for education that he would tap in scripting a roadmap for education.
“We have a very capable team under PM Modi. It’s team India – passionate about development and passionate about sustainable development. We are “doers,” crazy boys in that way,” he told NDTV with a chuckle, as he described the passion and zeal that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ministers share for his development agenda.