Published: 11th December 2019
KUFOS VC suspends classes, asks students to vacate hostel. Students retaliate
The students had staged a protest on the campus on December 6 by locking the university’s gates, following which the VC suspended the classes indefinitely
The standoff between Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) Vice-Chancellor A Ramachandran and students led by SFI over faculty appointments has reached a flashpoint with the university suspending classes indefinitely and directing students to vacate the hostels. The students, however, said that they will not vacate the hostels.
"We are staying in our hostels. They have closed the mess, but we are cooking our own food," says Akshay Asokan, an SFI activist in the university. "The Vice-Chancellor's stands are anti-student and anti-education. We will fight until the administration comes up with a proper solution," he says.
The students have been staging protests demanding appointment of candidates possessing the Bachelor of Fisheries Science (BFSc) and Master of Fisheries Science (MFSc) qualifications to the post of assistant and associate professors. The university had recently notified vacancies of 10 faculty members.
The students had staged a protest on the campus on December 6 by locking the university’s gates, following which the VC suspended the classes indefinitely. He later issued an order directing BFSc, MFSc students to vacate the hostels immediately.
“Students who wish to study without causing hindrance to the academic activities of the university may come with their parents and give their commitment in writing to the dean,” the order said. The registrar has issued a notice directing parents to ensure that the students vacate the hostel and do not roam around the campus as classes are suspended.
Irked by the VC’s order, the students refused to vacate the hostel. Though the warden shut down the hostel mess, the students started preparing food themselves. Now, tension prevails on the campus as the students are determined to prevent any move to evacuate them forcibly.
“We have not launched a full-fledged protest as we don’t want to disturb the MFSc examinations. However, the VC has refused to discuss and find an amicable solution to the issue. He has not visited the campus for the past two days,” said SFI former unit president Vidyhu Rajan who is spearheading the agitation. He said the students wanted faculty with adequate qualification to ensure better employability.
‘Unacceptable’Ramachandran said the students’ demands were unacceptable as they were against UGC (University Grants Commission) norms.