IIT-Indore has banned all social media on its campus in a bid to stop PhD scholars from taking their protest against the recent fee hike online.
All the systems linked to the institute’s server have been blocked for all social media platforms.
The clampdown has affected scholars as the campus is situated in Simrol in the outskirts of the city, where there is poor phone and internet connectivity.
The step came after around 400 research scholars protested the 150% hike in fees, with some tweeting to the HRD ministry and ministers under the hashtag #iitindorestand.
The students had tweeted pictures of the campus, showing the deplorable condition of various facilities, while others questioned the rationale behind the fee hike for the scholars.
Reportedly, the fee for pursuing PhD in the institute was hiked from 8,350 to 19,990, effective even for those currently pursuing their doctorate.
The protest soon gained momentum and it was reported that the HRD ministry asked the administration to have a word with the students, even as online protests continued on Monday.
“We had taken to Twitter and had started tweeting about the problems we face. This made the administration furious and led to its crackdown on us in which we were asked to delete our tweets. Then, they blocked Twitter on the campus,” said a scholar on condition of anonymity.
“We have been protesting against the fee hike as they are forcing us to shift to a campus which is still under construction and are denying HRA. The administration has been keeping us in a very bad state,” said another scholar.
The institute’s director Pradeep Mathur and PRO Vani Venkat were not available for comment despite several attempts to reach them.
However sources inside the campus said the director was not in the city.
A meeting with the dean of students’ welfare was held wherein no conclusion came about, but the DSW has assured the students that action will be taken.