In light of the recent events, tension prevailed among the students protesting outside the VC and DUI office on April 11th, against the Senate Sanction of ‘enhancement in fee structure of various courses being taught at University Campus and its regional centres’, with more than 1000% (10-fold increase) hike in fee in some courses.
Student Union parties had organized the protest- SFS (Students for Society) being a major partaker in the strike. SFS, prior to the strike, had demanded a discussion within the panel for an appropriate solution for resolving the financial crisis without resorting to violence. They accused the police of fierce attack on students. Students were seen with banners saying ‘Students Demand Roll Back of the Fee Hike’ and shouting slogans outside the office. Before the protests ABVP (Akhil Bhartiya Vidya Parishad) had demanded the resignation of the VC, which was duplicitous of the party as they weren’t even present at major protests as per a Hindustan Times report and neither at the strike on 11th of April. The students were shot with water canons and lathi-charged as the strike gained momentum, and in retaliation, they started pelting stones at the police. Many students were left severely injured. Nonetheless, the protest and shouting continued and some students took refuge in the neighbouring Gurudwara to escape the violence. So, the police resorted to spray tear-gas on the students so that they call off the strike. The VC has had a negative response to the students’ demand of repealing the sanction of the fee hike as he considers it essential for resolving the financial crunch of the University. This has received a lot of flak from all students.
The students of departments under the senate order such as the UICET, UILS, UIAMS are among the worst hit as the tuition fees for UICET was 7,700 per semester and which is 90,000 now. Various other departments of Science and Humanities are also suffering. Some measures have been taken to look into the interests of the EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) and the VC has also responded that the students will not be denied admission because of the inability to pay the fees and students will also be provided part-time job opportunities, however these are believed to be enough.
Outrage against the fee hike builds up with each passing day, and with the ensuing violence, the university has become unsafe for everyone. Protests and strikes are going to continue in the upcoming days. Whether an amicable solution is reached, is yet to be seen.
About the Author:
The connoisseur of pointless facts.