New Delhi: The government on Thursday decided to make it mandatory for all central universities to fly the national flag prominently to inculcate a sense of nationalism in campuses.
The official release from the HRD ministry said the Tricolour should be flown on a 207-feet high mast on their campuses to signify "strong and united" India.
The decision was taken at a meeting of Union HRD minister Smriti Irani with vice chancellors of central universities.
This comes at a time when a student leader in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University is under arrest for sedition after anti-India slogans were allegedly raised at a campus event in memory of Parliament attacker Afzal Guru.
The move drew a sharp reaction from the Congress and the CPI(M).
"Nationalism just doesn't mean hoisting the flag and singing Vande Mataram. It is about showing your belief in the
Constitution, it is about showing respect to the institutions which have made the country a democratic set up," RPN Singh of the Congress said.
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat also slammed government for the decision.
Sources said some of the VCs pointed out at the meeting that at present the national flag was being flown prominently in most of the central universities.
The resolution is applicable to JNU too as it is a central university, officials said.
The HRD ministry called the meeting of VCs after the death of dalit scholar Rohith Vemula at the University of Hyderabad triggered a massive controversy and brought the spotlight on problems faced by disadvantaged sections.
The ministry also decided to form cells in all the universities to check incidents of discrimination against dalit students.