UGC to Release 11 Crores for TISS Arrears, Students Continue Strike Till All Demands are Met
It is the 25th Day of their strike and TISS students seem to be in cheerful spirit after their resistance has compelled the UGC officials to fly down to Mumbai on March 16 in order to negotiate with the students and TISS administration.
Notably, the struggle by the students has compelled the UGC to release an arrear of as much as Rs. 11 crore which will be allocated to the TISS administration. Though this amount will not go towards the payment of the fee exemptions or scholarships.
Also, the TISS administration hasn’t yet furnished details of the part of their finance which makes it possible to have fee exemptions for GOI-PMS scholars.
However, the students said that the meeting with UGC officials was fruitful and a ten members committee was formed with selected members from the General Body of the protesting students. Other committees included the GOI PMS Working Group, Empowered Committee of faculty, a meeting was also held with the Registrar and Dy. Registrar of TISS.
Students have decided to continue the strike till all their demands are met.
Students in the meeting have also clarified that the burden of deficits incurred by institute shouldn't be put on the students, especially the GOI PMS students since it's a clear flouting of the affirmative action. Students also demanded that the Institute along with the UGC should come up with a plan of action for the students.
In this regard, CJP, Sabrang’s partner organisation has also initiated a public campaign to support the struggle of the students. You can sign the petition here
The full press release can be read below:
PRESS RELEASE I - 17th March 2018
TISS STUDENTS PROTESTS HELP TISS ADMINISTRATION TO GAIN 11 CRORES FROM UGC; ALLOCATED AMOUNT WILL NOT HELP GOI PMS SCHOLARS ; STRIKE ENTERS 25TH DAY, NO PLANS TO CALL OFF THE STRIKE !
The ongoing strike at Tata Institute Of Social Sciences has entered day 25th today. The UGC announced the release of 4.7 cr and 6.35 Cr towards arrears. The clearance of arrears have come after 24 days of TISS students protests. Although the amount of around 11 Cr. will not be going towards resolving the GOI PMS issue of providing fee waivers for SC, ST, OBC students of current and future batches .
It has become abundantly clear that we have clearly shown that agitation by students does have the strength to bent the system. A 25 days strong resistance has made the UGC to fly down to TISS and hear our demands. We do understand that the release of arrears have nothing to do with our demands and GOI PMS scholarship issue but we must state that our protests have helped the TISS administration despite continuous targeting of protesting students. Now the UGC and TISS administration should come up with a solution for which the students are fighting.
In spite of continuous demands by the students the TISS administration has not furnished any data to the students regarding what is the exact amount needed to facilitate scholarships and waivers for GOI PMS scholars.
The students delegates have demanded from the UGC that the Non Salaried Maintenance grant be increased. Also one of the main demand made by the students body to the UGC is that the UGC should come up with the component under the Non Salaried Maintenance Grant, where funds can be allocated to resolve waivers/scholarship related issues.
Dr.Sunita Siwach,Joint Secretary, UGC who is also a part of MHRD Committee held a meeting with students delegates from the General Body at the TISS Campus in Mumbai on Friday. A ten members committee was formed with selected members from the General Body of the protesting students. Other committees included the GOI PMS Working Group, Empowered Committee of faculty, a meeting was also held with the Registrar and Dy. Registrar of TISS.
During the meeting the demand charter regarding GOI PMS issues were discussed along with other issues like Non Net Fellowship and closing down of certain centres . The student delegates have stated that the meeting with the UGC was fruitful and the students have put forward solid arguments in support of their demand charter, based on data received through RTIs filed by students.
So far the UGC disburses amount under two heads Plan and Non Plan. Under the Plan head funds are allocated for the salaries. Where as the Non Plan head goes towards other expenditure of the institute, which is the institute is mandated to spend funds towards specific expenditures. Funds allocated under both these heads do not go towards any funding related to scholarships and waivers and hence the students have demanded that a separate component too be added to facilitate funds towards students scholarships/waivers.The students body also argued that the TISS should be considered at par with other Central Universities, since it has one of the highest NAAC grading.
In this meeting no concrete solutions have been been offered as yet. But we have resolved to keep the strike going until all our demands are met by the UGC and the TISS administration.Post the meeting the General Secretary of the Student Union also handed over the charter of demand to the Joint Secretary of the UGC.
Students in the meeting have also clarified that the burden of deficits incurred by institute shouldn't be put on the students, especially the GOI PMS students since it's a clear flouting of the affirmative action. So far the administration has not clarified or come up with a figure of cost incurred to support GOI PMS students The UGC has asked TISS committee which includes faculty and student delegates to furnish a plan of action report by 31st March for further action.
We believe that our demands have been legit and can be met by the institute through various means. It is the institute’s responsibility to mobilise resources to support the section of students who are in utmost need of institutional support. The strike shall continue till demands are met.
Student Unity Long Live.
Struggle for Social Justice Long Live.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the author's personal views, and do not necessarily represent the views of Newsclick.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.