Published: 11th February 2021
Rajah Muthiah Medical College set to reopen after 58-day protest against high fees, but circular comes from Annamalai University
The University shut down the entire campus including hostels, messes and classrooms on January 22 attributing the reason to ‘unrest on campus’
Annamalai University has announced the reopening of Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Rajah Muthiah Dental College and Rani Meyyammai College of Nursing after it was shut down last month following a long-drawn protest by students. The University issued a notice stating that the college will reopen on February 12 for postgraduates and CRRIs. For undergraduates, the colleges will start classes from February 15.
Despite the college now coming under the Health and Family Welfare Department and being affiliated to Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, the notice was issued by Annamalai University. Sources said that since the process of the handover is still ongoing, AU has issued the notice. The University shut down the entire campus including hostels, messes and classrooms on January 22 attributing the reason to ‘unrest on campus’. In a notice issued to the parents, the University had said that ‘outsiders such as trade unionists, political leaders and others were influencing’ students. The University had warned of FIRs being filed against the students since the situation had gotten out of hand. The administration had cut off water and electricity supply to the hostels as well, leaving students, especially female students struggling.
Yet, the students had refused to leave the campus and set up their own kitchen while continuing the protest. The 58-day protest that the students insisted had been a peaceful one, came to end on February 6 after the government gave into the students’ demands. The students had been demanding fees that are on par with government medical colleges and to be brought under the Health and Family Welfare Department and be affiliated to Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University. The College, which was associated with Annamalai University had been taken over by the state government in 2013 but despite repeated protests, the students were being charged exorbitant fees going upto 5 lakhs for UG and 9 lakhs for PGs even though government college students were only being charged Rs 13,000 for MBBS and Rs 30,000 for PG.