Published: 22nd October 2020
UoH Students’ Union to carry on hunger strike for fourth day, expect positive response from admin
The students say that they will continue to strike till they hear that their demands have been met and they get assurance from the University that the seats would be filled
Members of the Students’ Union, University of Hyderabad are on their fifth day of a relay hunger strike against the administration for including new qualifying criteria for selection to PhD, MPhil seats. The new criteria, the students claimed, was leaving almost 70 reserved seats vacant and that the University was not doing enough to fill these seats. While the students have continued their strike, they said that the Grievance Redressal Committee has assured them that ‘positive steps were being taken’ in this regard.
Gopi Swamy, the General Secretary said that the Grievance Committee had told the students that they had discussed the matter and would suggest ‘positive recommendations’ to the Vice Chancellor about filing up all the vacant seats. “We were told that they had held a long meeting and brainstormed on the issue. But we want it in writing and want to be briefed on the minutes of the meeting as well,” Swamy said.
The students say that they will continue to strike till they hear that their demands have been met, “In case the University does not take steps to fill the vacancies, we will continue our hunger strike,” he added.
Last Friday, the University released a list of shortlisted candidates for many of the departments and the Union claims that from their estimation, over 64 seats reserved for OBC, SC, ST categories could remain unfilled this year. The University in a circular issued on October 5 states that the UGC Regulations 2016 had been adopted by their 78th Academic Council for this year. The 2016 UGC Regulations that “provided that a relaxation of 5 percent of marks (from 50 percent to 45 percent) shall be allowed for the candidates belonging to SC, ST, OBC, differently-abled category in the entrance exams conducted by the Universities.” However, the Regulation also states that the administration should ensure all the seats are filled, failing which they would have to conduct a ‘Special Drive’ and could come up with their own rules in order to get them filled.
The Union alleged that the new regulations itself were discriminatory against students from marginalised communities and are angry that the University decided to allegedly implement it without consulting them. According to the Youth for Inclusive and Sustainable Society, UoH 12 percent of PhD seats reserved for the OBCs, 42 percent for SCs, 56 percent of the STs, 75 percent for the Physically Challenged category and 48 percent of the EWS reserved seats could go vacant.