Hyderabad—Tata Institute of Social Sciences-Mumbai (TISS) suspended academic activities on its Hyderabad campus on Monday evening, declaring a sine die. In an order signed by the acting registrar, the institute had also asked all students to “vacate the campus latest by 5 pm”.
As per the order, sine die will stand “until further notice”.
The decision was taken to quell a protest that students of TISS Hyderabad have been staging since July 8, demanding that the management negotiate to fix a lower hostel fee with a private operator who currently offers hostel facilities for TISS students. The protesting students have also been demanding a new set of hostel management rules to ensure low hostel fee even in the upcoming semesters.
According to student protestors, Dalit and Adivasi students have not been availing hostel facilities, thanks to the high fees charged by the private operator. From over 250 students who availed hostel facilities in the previous academic year 2018-19, the number has fallen to 150 this year, the students alleged. An Adivasi student also discontinued her course in TISS-Hyderabad this month as she could not afford the hostel fee, students alleged. As per the terms set by the private operator, TISS students are expected to pay a six month advance of Rs53,000 toward hostel fees, the protestors said.
TISS-administrative officers were not available for comment.
This is the third massive agitation in TISS Hyderabad in two years. In February 2018, in line with protests in the TISS-Mumbai campus, students had declared strike to oppose the administration’s decision to make Dalit and Adivasi students pay tuition fee which, as per Union government’s rules should be covered by Post Matric Scholarship. In December 2018, the students had staged protests when the institute scrapped its Bachelors degree courses. As part of the...