With regard to Fee Hike by the administration of Pondicherry University, the student community held a strike at university campus and occupied the Admin Block on 25 March.
The Joint Action Committee including various political organisations (SIO, ASA, MSF, SFI, NSUI, APS, AISF) as well as the student council had written a letter with a list of demands, primarily focussing on revoking the fee hike. The administration as well as the Vice Chancellor had not officially given any sort of response to the letter.
The hike has gone up to 225% in Department of MCA as well as 125% for various MBA courses. Moreover, the university has started new self-financing courses in MBA, the fee for which comes up to Rs 3,27,900 for two years.
The students concurred that Pondicherry University, being a publicly funded university, could not hike the fees in such an unreasonable manner. This cannot be accepted. The committee also highlighted issues of inadequate facilities and amenities in several departments, and how even after continuous enquiry and questioning, there has been no response from the respective officials.
The students pointed out how the hike will adversely affect the minority student communities and how it violates their right to education.
The university's updated prospectus projects the privatisation and commercialisation of education and institution.
The committee also demanded a 25% reservation to be implemented for the Pondicherry Residents in all the departments. The territory being very small with a dense population, only makes it seem right to provide students the proposed proportion.
On 26 March, the administration finally agreed to sit with the committee members and promised to provide a written document to the students council with regard to reconsideration of the fees. The strike was called off after the demands were adhered to by the administration. The University has also promised that it would send the MHRD a letter on reservation for Pondicherry residents as well as the issues of accommodation for SC/ST category students. We hope that the University will act soon on students’ demands, else we will move on with further agitation for our rights.
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