Published: 24th May 2020
TISS withholds results of students unable to pay dues, dissolves Students' Union
The Union in a statement claimed that there was absolutely no transparency in the additional charges that were being levied on the students
Students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences have alleged that the administration is withholding the results of those who have not been able to clear their account dues. The Students' Union has also accused the administration of charging fresh new fees - ranging up to Rs 35,000 - with a lack of transparency and just three days after the results were to be declared.
The Union in a statement claimed that there was absolutely no transparency in the additional charges that were being levied on the students, "Many students of the graduating batch are freshly being notified of dining hall charges ranging from Rs 2,000 and going as high as Rs 35,000 on May 22, three days after May 19, the day results were to be declared," the Union said. Going on to explain why this was unfair, the Union said that the administration was levying these fees at a time when most students have no or little knowledge about what the charge is for, "Restricting them in accessing their results has not only created confusion but also a sense of utter despair and anxiety," they added.
Also citing the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown as throwing the entire world into a crisis, the students said that it would be difficult for students to afford the extra fees at this point. "The students of the graduating batches are exposed to a devastated job market that has no or very few job opportunities to offer. The act of TISS administration of restricting the minimum right of students to know their results is not only disappointing and disgraceful. This also shows their incompetence during the pandemic to act for the better interest of its primary stakeholder, the students," the Union said in its statement.
They also pointed out that many students continue to be stranded by the lockdown, "We stand with our students who, amidst the pandemic, are struggling. While many of the students are not able to go home, many are stuck on their way, many are with their families with very little source of earnings and savings, and the administration by making these blanket demands with unsatisfactory accountability and no transparency are denying their basic rights." Some students are already running a crowdfunding campaign for some SC/ST students who have been unable to pay their semester fees because of financial constraints.
"During this time of COVID-19 crisis, students require support from the side of the institute, in terms of waiving of the fee for those students who are in financially difficult situations. Unfortunately, when students are struggling to survive, the institute is forcing the students to pay these new fees," the members of the SU said in their statement.
According to a report in the Indian Express, the TISS director had written to the Union stating that seeking a relaxation in the name of COVID-29 is highly unfair, "The institute cannot afford to waive off close to a crore on a yearly basis."
Another issue the students stated, is that current elected body has been 'arbitrarily dissolved' by the administration, "We believe that Students’ Union is the only channel of conversation between the administration and the general student body and dissolving the SU at this crucial hour when there are a lot of pending issues not being resolved and the future academic course is not clear for the 1st year batch, will adversely affect the larger student body directly. We the members of TISS Students' Union 2019-20 vehemently stand against this decision that is adversely going to affect the lives of many students." They also pleaded to the administration to address these two issues immediately.
We have reached out to the administration for a response and will update this story with the same when we receive their comments.