"Students with outstanding fees won't be able to view semester results", says TISS; student body slams institute

Students at TISS Mumbai were sent an email informing them that they would not be able to view their semester results if outstanding fees were not cleared
Notice to students
Notice to students(Source: Progressive Students' Forum- TISS)

The Progressive Students' Forum of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (PSF-TISS), Mumbai, condemned the varsity's move to reinstate the fund imbalance of the organisation. 

Students are asked to pay fees upfront

This time, TISS has placed a coerced condition in front of students, that they will not be able to view their results for the second or fourth semesters if they do not pay the fees for the upcoming third or fifth semester.

The students of the 2023-2025 batch received an email from the Section Officer (SO), Alpana Thadani, on Tuesday, July 2, via which, students were intimated about the notice. 

Students have since flagged a concern that the stipulated period to complete the registration process and submit the outstanding fees is ten days, that is, from July 2, 2024, to July 12, 2024.

The PSF-TISS, via social media platform X shared that the "Administration has left no stone unturned in putting additional economic burden on students by linking fee payment with results and registration."

Email addressed to Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Student Affairs
The student organisation also wrote an email today, Thursday, July 4, to Vice-Chancellor of TISS, Prof Manoj Kumar Tiwari, and Dean of Student Affairs Prof M Mariappan about the "insensitivity on the part of the TISS administration", that fails to consider the plight of the students.

EdexLive spoke to a member of the PSF-TISS, who informed that although temporary relief was provided to the institution by the Tata Trusts, students are still sceptical that the issue with funds would keep intermittently occurring.

"Last semester a similar incident happened and they had to withdraw it after repeated complaints and protests. This time students are not on campus, but we are hoping that it will be withdrawn as students are raising complaints against this arbitrary decision," added the student, under the condition of anonymity.

It may be recalled that TISS was in the news for an entirely different reason this week. This was due to its refusal to renew the contracts of teaching and non-teaching staff members owing to a fund crunch.

According to an article by The Times of India, Tata Trust has now agreed to pay a sum of Rs 5 crore to fund the salaries of the 115 teaching and non-teaching staff members whose contracts were not being renewed due to non-payment of salaries. 

Are students a scapegoat of the crisis?
Shedding light on the plight of the students, he adds that many students are sponsored and receive scholarships, and an upfront fee payment would not be possible. There are also students who belong to different communities, castes and backgrounds and that TISS' demand might add unnecessary pressure on them, the student told EdexLive.

Not only this, students are further surrounded by uncertainty as they worry if there will be enough teachers when they get back to the institute. "We do not know if enough faculty members are going to be there yet, we are being asked to pay the fees beforehand. Is it justifiable?" enquires the PSF-TISS member.

The email further criticises the move and calls it a discriminatory policy directed towards the students which is "eroding the inclusive nature of the campus, creating a hostile environment for students", further terming it as "anti-student" and "exclusionary".

They demand that the TISS administration de-link the fee payment and the semester registration as it adds an economic burden to the students and a full revocation of the policy.PSF-TISS is still awaiting a response from the administration.

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