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Alumni join in Mumbai’s TISS students protest against aid withdrawal

Under the Government of India Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, students don’t have to pay tuition, mess and hostel fees.

mumbai Updated: Feb 24, 2018 00:53 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,TISS,protest
On Friday, around 100 alumni of the institute and faculty members joined the protest.(HT File)

Students of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) boycotted lectures third day in a row to protest against the management’s decision to withdraw financial help under the Government of India Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme.

On Friday, around 100 alumni of the institute and faculty members joined the protest. “This is not the first time that the institute is holding students at ransom. At the time of admission we were told that we won’t have to pay tuition, mess and hostel fees, which has been highlighted in the prospectus as well. How can the institute suddenly expect us to start paying the fees now,” said one of the students.

Students studying at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) under the scholarship are exempted from paying such fees.

While students are calling this move as apathetic on part of the institute, officials from TISS have called it necessary, especially with mounting debt. “The exemption was possible as long as the government aid was flowing. But over the past few years, allocation of funds to this sector has reduced and so has the flow of aid, so we have no option but to ask students to pay the fees,” said the spokesperson and added that the institute has agreed to a dialogue with students to come to a conclusion. “Course fees for the eligible GOI Post Matric reserved category students 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.

Students, however, feel the need for a permanent solution. “We are trying to reach out to the central government this time. We also hope to put across this problem to the lawmakers. Cutting out funds will affect the lives of lakhs of students from the reserved categories, who only have such options to pursue higher education,” said an alumnus of the institute.

TISS has campuses in Tuljapur , Hyderabad and Guwahati apart from its main centre in Trombay, Mumbai. In a meeting held at the institute late on Thursday night, students said the TISS management refused to agree to their demand. “We will continue our agitation by banning classes until our problems are heard and a solution is drawn,” said another student.

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 00:53 IST