Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal on Friday said that the government will not let universities become the "centre of politics".
"We cannot keep our students entangled in petty issues. We will not let universities become a centre of politics. We will never allow it," said Pokhriyal while speaking to media persons.
The Minister's remarks come during his visit to Srinagar as he was a part of the Centre's special public outreach programme for Jammu and Kashmir under which the delegation of cabinet ministers is supposed to interact with the people and educate them about various schemes of the government.
They will also disseminate information about the importance of the Centre's policies for the overall development of the Union Territory and its people along with the steps taken by the government particularly in the past five months after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions and bifurcation of the erstwhile state.
Earlier on January 6, HRD Minister said that universities are centres of learning and will not be allowed to become "addas" of politics. The minister was replying to questions from reporters in Haldwani on Sunday about protests against the amended Citizenship Act across university campuses.
"Universities are centres of learning where the country's future is in the making. We cannot let them become addas of politics," Pokhriyal said. He accused the opposition parties of trying to turn the universities into hotbeds of politics.
The new legislation passed by Parliament aims to grant citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who had taken refuge in India and there is nothing wrong in it, the Union Minister said.
"When Pakistan was created, the population of religious minorities there stood at 22 per cent. Today it is a minuscule 3.7 per cent. Persecuted on the basis of their religion, they sought sanctuary in India. The CAA is meant only to grant them citizenship," he said.
(with inputs from agencies)
(image credits: PTI)