New Delhi: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences students and alumni staged a demonstration near the Human Resource Development Ministry against the withdrawal of scholarships for SC and ST scholars on February 26, reports PTI.
They have been protesting against the withdrawal of financial aid given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) scholars.
As protests against the withdrawal of fee concessions to students in reserved categories at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) completes a week, students from other universities in the country are giving their support to the agitation.
On Monday, students of Delhi university staged protests outside the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) demanding relief for students of TISS.
“Other than students from all four campuses of TISS across the country, many other universities have also called us to show their solidarity with us against this cause. We need to reach out to the top authorities to make sure our voices are heard and change is implemented,” said one of the TISS students. Classes at the institute were suspended for the sixth day as students as well as some faculty members have joined the protest.
A bandh was called by the TISS Students’ Union on February 20 to protest the institute’s decision to withdraw fee waiver to SC, ST and OBC students eligible for the Government of India Post Matric Scholarship (GoI-PMS), which was introduced last year. On Sunday night, representatives of the institute’s management held a three-hour long meeting with protesting students to find an alternate solution to the problem. Students, however, refused to budge till their demands were not met.
“A letter will reach the Ministry of Social Justice, Ministry of Tribal Affair as well as the University Grants Commission (UGC). We are also approaching all the state governments that our fellow batch mates belong to,” said another protesting student.
“These scholarships are transferred by the government concerned directly to the students’ bank accounts. The Institute has no role either in the sanction or disbursement of the scholarship. Course fees for those eligible for GoI-PMS are still exempted. The students are only required to pay dining hall charges and hostel fees on actual basis, which is the norm in all universities” said the registrar of TISS.
Over 30 students along with their counterparts in Delhi colleges and universities today demanded not to burden the students through fee hike and fund cuts.
An almnus, who requested anonymity, said the fees per semester had surged over 100 per cent in just two years and the students were forced to become indebted to the banks through loans.
“We appeal to you to immediately roll back withdrawal of Centre’s Post Matric Scholarship (GOI-PMS) in TISS and reinstate all financial assistance that was earlier available,” a memorandum that the students intended to submit to Union MHRD Minister Prakash Javdekar said.
TISS Students Union President Archana Soreng had said, “All talks and mediation with the administration over past many months have failed.