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SPPU: Lack of funds pushes PhD, MPhil scholars to fend for small jobs

Every month, these students were to receive a stipend of Rs 8,000 for PhD scholars and Rs 5,000 for those pursuing MPhil. However, they have not seen a penny from the varsity for the past three months.

pune Updated: Jun 20, 2018 17:07 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,SPPU,education
MPhil and PhD students of SPPU protest demanding payment of their stipend which was denied by the varsity citing budgetary scarcity.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

After months of delay, students pursuing master of Philosophy (MPhil) and doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the Savitribai Phule Pune Unviersity (SPPU), took to the streets on Tuesday, demanding their stipend which was denied by the varsity citing budgetary scarcity. As many as 300 students at the university have not received their monthly stipend from April till June.

Every month, these students were to receive a stipend ofRs 8,000 for PhD scholars andRs 5,000 forthose pursuing MPhil. However, they have not seen a penny from the varsity for the past three months.

“Our condition has worsened due to lack of money. Many of the scholars come from financially compromised backgrounds, and for them, this stipend means a lot. From paying the rent to managing day-to-day expenses, all has come to a standstill, because of this. Many of us are being pushed to fetch part-time jobs to fend for ourselves,” said Balaji Narwate, an MPhil student from the Sociology department at SPPU.

The students added that in such a situation, those who do not manage to find intellectual jobs, pertaining to their education, are pushed to work multiple jobs, at hotels and as wedding caterers, to manage their daily expenses.

As a symbolic gesture of their condition, many also observed a‘bheek mango’ (begging for alms) protest, whereby they begged for money. The collected cash will be given to the vice-chancellor of the university, as a mark of their solidarity.

“On one hand, the university claims to be furthering research, and on the other, it is stifling our work with these roadblocks. If this is the condition of research scholars in a state university, then no bright student from poor backgrounds will opt to pursue research,”Narwate added.

After the meeting with the protesters, the varsity officials assured students a response and action on the same after eight days. In case of no response is derived after a week, the scholars plan to hold a larger protest.

First Published: Jun 20, 2018 17:03 IST