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300 TISS students refuse to pay fees in protest

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300 TISS students refuse to pay fees in protest
Source: The Indian Express

In protest against the authorities, over 300 students from the four campuses of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Tuljapur have come together to declare that they will not pay fees. This move comes as the authorities decided to suspend financial aid to those from reserved categories and made submission of Aadhaar details by the students mandatory.

According to a student, at least 100 students will be forced to drop out due to non-availability of financial assistance.

A circular regarding the same has been issued by on May 25 by the authority which said that they would register attendance only by using students’ biometrics making it mandatory for all students to submit their Aadhaar details. Notably, students wrote a letter to the authority seeking clarifications, protesting students have said that the circular is a violation of the Supreme Court’s regulations. This may also lead to students without an Aadhaar card to losing their admission

“That clarification is absolutely meaningless as it states that the institute is only following University Grants Commission guidelines. UGC guidelines are just recommendations and not binding,” said a third-year student from the Hyderabad campus said.

“It must be noted that students from Manipur and Assam do not possess a UID,” read the students’ statement to the media.

Students also criticised the authorities decision to release the notice while the students were on holiday, most of them not available on the campus. The circular by the students also urged the management to refrain from making such decisions in the future, without the presence of a student’s union to act as a representative.

Alleging that new entrants were not informed of this, a student said, “This makes the institute more elitist as it will exclude the marginalised sections.”

Notably, the last date for payment of fees is June 8. When contacted, TISS director S Parasuraman said, “We do not have the resources but we are trying to develop an alternate mechanism to raise funds.” He added that it would cost Rs 16 crore to take care of the expenses incurred by the students.