Published: 17th June 2022
Protesting students at IIIT Basara gain support of student groups, opposition
Students of the varsity have been protesting against lack of permanent faculty and poor facilities on campus
Students of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), traditionally known as IIIT Basara, continued their protest for the third day even as the state government tried to make peace by appointing Dr Peddapalli Satish Kumar as Director. The decision to appoint the Director was announced after discussions were held among Education Minister Sabitha Reddy, Endowment Minister A Indrakaran Reddy and some other officials, as stated in a report by ENS.
Meanwhile, students of the varsity found more support from student unions and political parties as they continued to insist on their demands for proper infrastructure in the institution, appointment of regular faculty and a full-time vice-chancellor. In fact, leaders of student unions like Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), All India Students’ Federation (AISF) and others reached the university, but were detained by the police and shifted to the Basara police station. Communist Party of India (CPI) National Secretary K Narayana also visited the campus, but was promptly escorted to the police station. BJP State President Bandi Sanjay Kumar will also be visiting the campus on Friday, June 17.
Student leaders said that while the move to appoint a Director was fine, they would continue their agitation till each of their demands are met by the government. Narayana criticised the Education Minister for describing the demands of the students as “trivial issues” and said that she was perhaps unaware that students cannot study without facilities and faculty. “If there is no problem in the institution, why has the government imposed so many restrictions and not allowing us to meet the students in the campus? Is it an educational institution or a central jail?” he asked.
Narayana stated the delay in taking a decision regarding appointment of faculty is ruining the future of students. He wondered how the students can get quality education in an institution that is functioning without facilities, infrastructure and regular staff. The CPI leader also said that those who struggled for Telangana formation have been sidelined and hence the people are suffering.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, in a Facebook post, that calling the genuine demands of the students as “silly” shows the government’s complete disregard for Telangana’s future. “Has the CM forgotten the invaluable contribution of students to the Telangana movement?” he asked. He said that the government must address the deplorable condition at the campus as it is an important issue. “Congress party firmly stands with the students of Telangana,” he added in the post.