Published: 27th May 2020
Pondicherry University says it will not grant PG scholarships to students who participated in fee hike protests in new circular
The PU administration has stated in a new circular that the postgraduate students who participated in the fee hike protests during this semester will not be eligible
The Pondicherry University, in its latest circular on Tuesday, announced that the postgraduate students who took part in the fee hike and anti-CAA protests on campus will not be granted the university scholarship for the upcoming academic year. The pre-requisite for the scholarship has been set to a minimum of 70 per cent attendance in the last semester and non-participation in the protests that took place at the beginning of this year.
The circular that was released around Tuesday afternoon clearly states that the University PG Scholarship will be granted to postgraduate students who are admitted during academic years (Integrated courses 2014-19, 2015-2020, 2016-21, 2017-22 and 2018-23) two year PG courses (2017-19 and 2018-20). "The Head of the departments may kindly arrange to send their claim of the candidates listed in the annexure to the Finance Section for claiming the scholarship, subject to the condition that they have more than 70% attendance and they have not participated in the protest during this semester," the circular adds.
The fee hike protests spanned across the months of February and March this year as the students agitated against the administration for hiking the academic fees by almost 200 per cent and also imposing a transportation fee on them. During the protests, PU students had also gotten into a scuffle with the Puducherry Police, following which many were detained by the officials.
The Pondicherry University Students' Council has called the recent circular the administration's "latest anti-student and anti-Constitution move".
"It has decided to punish students for demanding a campus inclusive of economically and socially weaker sections. All the students who participated in various protest conducted by the Students' Council and other organisations and those with less than 70% attendance are not eligible for the scholarship, which is their right. For the kind information of the admin, these scholarships are not from your personal account so that you can provide them as loans to the student. It is a student's right for scholarship and it is their constitutional right to protest peacefully and you are employed there to facilitate that," the Students' Council statement read.
The current Students' Council President P Parichay Yadav says, "Since a lot of students from economically weaker sections depended upon the scholarships to pay their semester fees, the university has targeted not just our constitutional right as a student but also has put out on full display its anti-poor attitude. Good job betraying the students. This would be remembered and fought, yet again. The battle for an inclusive campus will be won."
Earlier this month, the varsity was forced to take down a circular stating regulations and fee details about the end of semester exams which said that the students require 70 per cent attendance to be eligible. To which the students have argued that the University Grant Commission (UGC) guidelines clearly specified the period of Lockdown as 'deemed attendance'. "Regarding the requirement of a minimum percentage of attendance for the students/research scholars, the period of lockdown may be treated as ‘deemed to be attended’ by all the students/ research scholars," according to the UGC guidelines.
Repeated attempts to reach the Pondicherry University administration proved futile. This copy will be updated when they respond.