UGC Asks Colleges, Varsities to set up Selfie Points With PM Modi’s Picture in Background
The University Grants Commission (UGC), in a letter, has asked all colleges and universities in India to put up selfie points that will feature the images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the background.
The letter from the UGC comes ahead of the next year's Lok Sabha elections. It asks the authorities at these colleges and universities to encourage "students and visitors to click selfies at these points and share them on media platforms, virtually turning them into unofficial campaigners of the BJP."
Officially, the UGC move is aimed at celebrating "India's achievements in various fields" to foster "a sense of collective pride."
"There is a unique opportunity to harness the energy and enthusiasm of the youth, moulding their minds with inspiration drawn from India's progress in diverse fields," says a letter from UGC secretary Manish Joshi.
"Let us celebrate and disseminate the incredible strides made by our country by establishing a 'Selfie Point' within your institution. The aim of 'Selfie Point' is to create awareness among the youth about India's achievements in various fields, particularly the new initiatives under the National Education Policy 2020," the letter reads.
In the letter, the UGC has come up with various design themes for the selfie points. The themes include unity in diversity, the Indian knowledge system, research and innovation, and multilingualism, among others.
A faculty member at one of the top institutions in the country told The Telegraph that the Union government, through this exercise, is trying to credit the Prime Minister with every achievement of the country.
“What is happening is full-blown propaganda to build a cult figure. The State is doing it using public institutions that have nothing to do with these activities,” he said.
The faculty member highlighted how this new directive is an addition to an existing list of activities by various government institutions to attach the Prime Minister's image to various initiatives. These things include the COVID-19 vaccine certificates and Rozgar Melas.
“A subtle perception is being created that only one leader is responsible for all these activities. This is being done to misguide gullible voters, keeping the elections in mind,” the academic said.
Another faculty member who teaches at Jawaharlal Nehru University said that initiatives that promote multiculturalism and foster debate must be welcomed. However, the ones that promote a singular opinion must be rejected, he added.
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