Published: 14th September 2020
Pondicherry University to virtually negotiate fee hike issue with students on Sept 15
The Pondicherry University students have requested their vice-chancellor to be present at the meeting on September 15, 2020
The Pondicherry University administration is set to virtually negotiate the proposed fee hike that had seen several protests over the last year, on September 15 with the PU Students' Council (PUSC). The students have requested the Vice-Chancellor to be present at the meeting along with the committee that had been formed earlier to look into the fee hike issue. The meeting will be conducted virtually on Google Meet and will also be recorded.
The PUSC in a statement on Monday has stated that the VC Dr Gurmeet Singh's presence will be helpful as he is the final authority who is responsible for making the decision regarding the withdrawal of the fee hike. "We welcome the idea, that the entire proceedings are to be recorded. It will be helpful to submit before the court that how the negotiation process with the committee without the VC's presence would be a futile exercise, as the committee would finally say, that they cannot take any decision and it is only the VC who has to take the final decision," said the statement.
PUSC President P Parichay Yadav told us that there had been accusations by the negotiation committee from earlier meetings that the students did not maintain decorum and discipline. "In our statement, we have written to the VC that he is welcome to go through the recording of the earlier meetings and see for himself that we have maintained decorum. Also, we have requested him to be there as the past experience says that the committee without his presence is a mere ritual. In the past, many times, we have requested the committee members and also the officiating Registrar madam that his presence in the negotiation meetings would help to resolve the fee issue amicably, as he is the Principal Executive and Academic Officer as per Section 13 (2) & (3) of Pondicherry University Act, 1985 and he may exercise any power conferred by any authority (The Academic Council and Executive Council in this issue) to take immediate action," he added.
The students had called off their 33-day-long protest at the beginning of March following the Madras High Court's direction. The Registrar filed a writ petition at the Madras High Court against the protest, following which the Court advised the students to call off the strike in order to create a more conducive environment for deliberations with the administration. The PUSC had then said that they were ready to engage with the administration if they did so with an 'open mind'. Following that meetings have been conducted but were halted in between due to the COVID-19 pandemic.