Students of IIT-Indore have been going anonymous on Twitter after the institution banned all social media on its campus to stop PhD scholars from taking their protest against proposed fee hike to the virtual world.
On Monday, Hindustan Times first reported about the ban on social media at the institute’s campus in Simrol.
Students told HT on Tuesday that how they were being threatened by the administration of dire consequences if the matter continues to pop up on social media.
For the past 10 days, students were protesting the proposed tuition fee hike by the institution, which has been increased by 130% (from Rs 8,350 to Rs 19,900) for the old Ph.D scholars.
Amid all kinds of censure and pressure, students have taken “anonymous” route to keep the issue alive. The students also alleged about mismanagement of funds by some office bearers of the institute.
Twitter handle @St0pMoNoPoLy921 said: “Help we are future scientist not future boot lickers #iitindore @PMOIndia @RashtrapatiBhvn @Swamy39.”
Another Twitter handle @angry_ghajni said: “#IITIndore @PMOIndia , @CMMadhyaPradesh @935redfm @NileFM @advpsuhyamitra WORST MANAGEMENT CRUEL DICTATORSHIP HELP.” It also attached a photo of Adolf Hitler with a quote “Give me money I change IIT to ITI”.
Fee hike cannot be applicable for us, say students
The students said the fee hike cannot be applicable for them as they had joined the institution much before the proposal was floated. Whereas the institute’s administration is of the view that the scholarship for the students has been increased, so the proposed fee hike was justified.
“When we resisted the move by initiating Twitter campaign, the director, dean of student affairs, some professors and the administration started harassing us and encircling our names to take revenge later,” a student told HT on the condition of anonymity.
As the campaign was getting stronger day-by-day, Abhishek Shrivastava, the dean of student affairs, on July 10 wrote a “polite threat” to all faculty members: “This is regarding our PhD students many of whom taken to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to express their dissatisfaction with regard to recent notification on their HRA and fee hike….
“While discussions and deliberations on the issues are welcome in a democratic organisations like ours and have been conducted at various issues as well, anything that goes beyond the organisational premises is detrimental not only to its reputation, but also to the overall goals and ambitions of its students….
“This is to request individual faculty members to kindly discuss these with their respective research groups and make PhD students cognisant of the potential negative implications of such initiatives…..”
“Yesterday (Monday) we wanted to stage a protest on the campus before Board of Governors’ meeting. But to avoid any hassle, our mentors made us sit idle before them until 6pm,” said a student.
On June 17, the institution announced to discontinue giving HRA (20% of stipend amount) for out stationed PhD scholars and asked the students to shift to hostel by July 31. However, after protests the administration decided to put the issue on hold.