Amid Student Protests, TISS Hyderabad Decides To Suspend Academic Activities With Immediate Effect
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has taken a major move and decided to suspend all academic activities on its Hyderabad Campus ‘sine-die’ with immediate effect, until further orders. As of now, there is no specified date for the resumption of academic activities. All students were asked to vacate the campus.
Several protests by students over the change in hostel and mess fee structures, including an ongoing hunger strike, led to this decision.
“The students have been denying us entry from the past week. We had a meeting with them and said that we can’t have talks in this kind of atmosphere. So, our Mumbai administration has suspended academic activity indefinitely,” Professor Vindhya, TISS Hyderabad’s Acting Deputy Director, told The News Minute.
She added that until normalcy is restored, the campus will not reopen.
“An Arbitrary Decision By The Management”
The campus was shifted from Rajendranagar to Turkayamjal, and the new fee structure demanded students to pay the entire semester’s hostel and dining charges upfront. This included SC, ST and OBC students who rely on financial aid.
This led to the students protesting, asking the administration to take responsibility and address the students’ grievances with the Government of India – Post Matric Scholarship (GoI PMS).
Under the previous fee structure, students could pay the fees in instalments or as they got financial aid.
Another issue the students complained about was related to the girls’ hostel, which they claimed was in an unsafe location. Women complained that they faced street sexual harassment near the hostel.
The University in its notice dated July 15 said that the protesting students had “continued with the blockade in spite of our repeated appeals and efforts to negotiate, thereby completely paralysing the functioning of the campus for the past five days.”
According to the administration, since July 9, faculty members’ entry into the academic block was blocked by the students. They were not allowed to conduct classes.
The administration on July 11 sent a mail to the students telling them that their concerns are being addressed and “if the classes were obstructed once again, the institute would have to be closed down indefinitely.”
“It is an arbitrary decision by the management. They have shut down the campus because we questioned their corrupt practices. The hostel fee of Rs 8,900 was too high for a place in Turkayamjal, which is outside the city. They have put us in peril only because we questioned them,” a protesting student said, responding to the notice.
An informal group created by the protesting students, The Students Action Committee, is now deliberating its future course of action.