The controversy over UGC notice regarding ESMA (Essential Services Maintainence Act) took a positive turn after it faced severe criticism from teacher’s association.
The aim was to set up a working group to recommend the possibility for the the application of ESMA to the University.
However, it is now clarified by the centre that no such thing would be done. In a tweet, higher education secretary R. Subrahmanyam said that, “There is no proposal to bring DU under ESMA. The suggestion is to ban strikes in the examination services came from some affected students during the DUTA strike. We have examined it and are not going ahead with the suggestion.”
The issue became intense as the implementation of ESMA would lead to restriction on freedom of speech and expression of the teacher’s association as
under ESMA Clause (VIII), anybody can be arrested for speaking out, for instigation, without warrant said Academics for action and development chairperson, Aditya Narayan Mishra, adding: ” Clause (V) states that such an act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year. ”
As per this, the teachers employed at Central universities, DU and JNU will find themselves in trouble if they participate in any anti- government protest or if they they speak at any event critical of the government’s policy and functioning.