The NEP envisages a paradigm shift in higher education, not only in terms of altering the funding architecture (from grant-based to loan-based) but also in terms of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Multiple Entry Exit System (MEES) and Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) – features which will transform the ethos and meaning of a university.In a society like ours fraught with so much social inequality, public funded universities are the only credible mode of ensuring a sustainable social upliftment and mobility for a large section of the masses. What is the bitter lesson of the fight over academic censorship within the university? That the academia and the intellectual classes have no option but to forge solidarity with the labouring classes and other groups in their struggle against the fascistic State. The university can no longer be treated as an intellectual protectorate oblivious to the body politic ravaged by the onslaughts of an autocratic government. For a very long time, the English teachers have carved out an exclusive, elite space for themselves, basking in the glory of their cultural capital and their exposure to global ideas. It is ironic that when the English teachers were consciously social and intellectual snobs, they were left untouched; but when they consciously and painstakingly tried to declass themselves in pedagogic terms by being sensitive to the issue of caste and representation, they were at the receiving end of a policy assaultand academic censorship. Their intellectual labour of the last few years invested in the syllabus revision was dismissed by the university through the oversight committee, making them at least aware of the formidable challenge posed by the authoritarian State.Hence, the only road ahead for the academia is to join the struggle of other labouring groups against the policy assault of the authoritarian state and to politicise the intellectual space against all kinds of undemocratic attacks. (IPA Service) (The author is Associate Professor of English at Kirorimal College, University of Delhi. Views are personal)


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