Students seek social protection after TISS cancels scholarship
Mumbai city news: The move came after TISS issued a clarification following an uproar from studentsmumbai Updated: Jun 11, 2017 00:33 IST
Students at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) have decided to move the in-house social protection office (SPO) after the institute decided to scrap the educational assistance provided to students from socially backward categories.
The SPO is responsible to ensure that measures taken to benefit students are implemented properly.
The move came after TISS issued a clarification following an uproar from students. The clarification said that the institute would provide assistance to the students from scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST) and other backward category (OBC) students who are eligible for the central government’s post-matric scholarship. However, the students were directed to arrange for their hostel and mess charges.
The clarification also mentioned that a limited aid will be available for students with an annual family income less than Rs4 lakh and those who did not avail the central government’s scholarship. “The institute has been working with banks and corporates to enable students to apply for external scholarships or take low-interest loans,” TISS’ clarification read.
The students, however, remained unsatisfied. “The post-matric scholarship is not enough to meet tuition and hostel expenses. That’s why we hope that the SPO will intervene into the matter,” said a student on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, a section of students had asked others to not pay their fees to the institution. The appeal had little impact as most of the students paid their fees within the June 8 deadline. TISS extended its deadline for those who missed it.
“We were hoping that the students would listen to the boycott call, but most of the students paid the fees,” said Abid Faheem, former general secretary of TISS Students’ Union.
This isn’t the first rollback of financial aid to the students at the premier institute. At the beginning of current academic year 2016-2017, TISS had announced that it would no longer provide non-NET fellowships to researchers due to a freeze in funding from central government. In the absence of UGC funds, the institute has been paying around Rs3,000 per month to both MPhil and PhD students.
“This is the central government’s attempt to privatise education in the country,” said Faheem.