Published: 02nd August 2019
DU researchers hold protest, demand a place in the Students' Union to voice their problems
The scholars conducted a silent protest on the university premises on Friday. They're also planning to launch a hunger strike soon
They don't raise their voice. They don't break any barrier. They stay mum and raise their demands, written on placards. Around 100 research scholars of the University of Delhi conducted a peaceful protest on Friday in the university premises, raising a set of demands.
This includes their representation in the Delhi University Students' Union and timely disbursal of research fellowship stipend. "Of the 21 central universities where elections are conducted, only DU doesn't allow MPhil and PhD students to cast their vote or contest the election. So, whenever we have issues, we have no means of letting the administration know about it," says Abhinav Mishra a PhD scholar in the Department of East Asian Studies. He also says that the University Science Instrument Centre doesn't work properly and does not subscribe to a lot of research journals. "This is affecting the quality of research and that could be a reason why the DU's position went down in the latest NIRF rankings," he says.
Research scholars across the country have been complaining about the untimely disbursal of fellowship stipends. Looks like, the case isn't any different in DU too. "We get our stipends one in six months. We literally have a celebration, the day the stipend comes," says Abhinav.
Another issue that the scholars raised was the unavailability of hostel seats. "For years, the administration hasn't created a new hostel on the campus, despite a massive increase in the number of students. Many of us are forced to find accommodations outside the hostels and our housing allowance isn't enough to pay the rent here," says Abhinav. Apart from this, he says that the university delays the viva for PhD students.
Previously, a delegation of students had met the university's registrar to discuss their demands. They are now planning to launch a hunger strike if the administration fails to take action in their favour. The researchers also say that neither the DUSU nor the DUTA are supporting them.