Published: 10th July 2019
TISS-Hyd admin claims they are negotiating with hostel providers, protesting students not buying it
The admin issued a statement claiming they will negotiate with the service providers and urge them to consider admitting students on a 'case-to-case' basis
The students in TISS, Hyderabad are continuing their protest as they are unhappy with the statement released by the administration regarding their demands. The students called the administration's response 'vague and unsatisfying'.
In a statement titles 'Efforts of TISS Hyderabad campus to support GoI PMS students on 2019-19, 2019-20.' They state that the hostel facilities are provided by the owner-cum-service provider, C.N.Reddy at KB Campus, Turkayamjal.
"There are about 12 GoI PMS students from the 2018 admitted batch (both BA and MA) and eight GoI PMS students from the 2019 batch, who have difficulties in paying for hostel admission as demanded by the present Service Provider. Given the vulnerability of these students, we have tried in various ways to address their problems," the statement read.
The management said that they have negotiated with the hostel provider to offer accommodation and dining facility at concessional rates for all students. "Compared to last year tariff of Rs. 8700 pm for all students, the tariff for non-GoI students is Rs. 8200 pm for this year and Rs.7,900 pm for GoI students," they said in their statement.
They go on to say that the payment of the students admitted under the Telangana Ashram Scheme is being arranged by the Social Welfare Department.
Stating that they have conducted negotiation with the service providers, the administration said, "A request was made to the service provider to accept partial payment from students and give hostel admission on a case by case basis to which he has agreed."
"Last year, for 31 GoI PMS students, the Service Provider collected Rs.15,000 per semester towards hostel rental charges. Remaining charges were borne by the Institute. The 2018 batch of GoI PMS students can continue to pay Rs.15, 000 per semester in three instalments for accommodation as they did last year," they said in their statement. They also added that the institute mobilises and disbursed Rs 38.6 lakhs financial aid to students in need last year, including giving away laptops to students.
While the administration has stated that the prices will go back down to Rs 15,000, the students claim orally they had not said the same to them, "They told us it is upto Reddy to accept our demands."
"The meeting that was supposed to happen today never happened. Now they are sending junior faculty who are only here on a contractual basis to go and negotiate to show that they care. But nobody in an administrative position is going for the negotiation," the students complained. They also said that unlike what they've said in the statement, the administration has told the students that the tariffs will only be reduced, if the service provider agrees to it.
A member of the Students Action Committee said that today, the Equal Opportunities Cell officials individually asked GOI PMS students how much scholarship money they get. "They asked each of the students and obviously when it is a one on one interaction, the students will get intimidated and that's what happened," a student claimed. She also said that when the students told the officials how much they get, the officials apparently said — "Anyway even with all your scholarship money, you won't be able to afford the hostel accommodation. So why don't you just stay outside?"
"The students didn't know how to respond to this, some people said okay. Some people said they can't afford it," the SAC member said.
Talking about the current hostel fee structure, the students said that the difference between the fees for the General Category students and the GOI PMS is a measly 300 rupees. "At least last year it was about 900 rupees, this year it's only 300. That's barely any difference," she added. She said this hostel fee is not even inclusive of the 2400 rupees the students have to pay for laundry because they are not allowed to wash their clothes on campus.
With regard to the Telangana Ashram scheme students, the SAC member said that the students are put up in hostels outside because they cannot afford the ones on campus, "Last year there were complaints that the students were having a tough time and forced to sleep on the floor."
The students said that throughout the day they have been 'threatened' by the administration of 'stern action'. "They have even sent us a notice saying that they responded positively to our demands, which isn't true at all and now they are threatening stern action but we fear they might bring the police on campus," the student said.
"The institute has responded positively and promised a resolution on a case to case basis. Yet the students have blocked the classrooms as well the administrative office," they said in their notice. "If normalcy is not restored and if instances of obstruction of movements or illegal acts in any form or method are continued, then institute will have no option but to safeguard the interest of all concerned by taking stern action against the defaulters," the notice read.