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November 22, 2019
TWO DAYS after holding a protest at Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) following the recent suicide of IIT-Madras student Fatima Latheef, the students on Thursday expressed solidarity with their counterparts in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), who are seeking a roll back of a recent hike in fees.
The fight against hike in fees by the JNU administration has found resonance with IIT-B, which has also been part of a countrywide struggle by IIT students against the recent fee hike announced by IIT Council.
While assembling on the campus to “oppose the back-door privatisation of education in the country”, the students said that the hike in BTech and MTech fees and scraping of stipend for MTech students will deprive meritorious students from poor financial backgrounds from accessing higher education.
Various scholarships given to PhD students — whether at central or state level — have either been delayed or have not seen proper increment, said a statement released by the students. “Even after the massive protest asking for a hike, the increment was not as per the committee suggestions. These cuts affect marginalised students as they are deprived of avenues of higher education,” it added.
“The government has been hell-bent on destroying public sector education. From a repeated hike in fees in different universities to decreasing the number of seats and scraping fellowships, it is shamelessly trying to promote a model of privatised education, where majority of the students from marginalised sections would not be allowed access to the academic world,” said a student.
The students also demanded justice for Dr Brijesh Kumar Rai, assistant professor in IIT-Guwahati’s Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, who was recently suspended. Rai had been in the limelight over the last few years for pointing out instances of alleged corruption in the institute.
The students’ statement demanded the immediate intervention of HRD Ministry to roll back the decision taken by IIT-Guwa-hati. While seeking an unbiased probe to all issues raised by Rai, the students demanded that the ministry take action against IIT-Guwahati authorities, “who have been … misusing public money”.
Courtesy: The Indian EXPRESS
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