Mumbai: Students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) have revealed financial deficit and demanded inquiry on administration, academics and accounts by rubbishing suggestions given by TISS administration. Students of marginalised sections of society have demanded clarity on Rs 11 crore recently sanctioned by University Grants Commission (UGC).
On Thursday which denotes the completion of one month of continued protest, students of Other Backward Classes (OBC), Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) raised issues of being deprived of Government of India-Post Matric Scholarship (GOI-PMS). Since 2015, students have been forced to pay fees of around Rs 60,000 per semester when their annual income is less than Rs one lakh.
Students investigated and have found out TISS was incorrectly listed as Private Deemed University when it is a Public Funded Deemed University. Fahad Ahmed, General Secretary of Student’s Union said, “The scholarship was withdrawn for Private Funded university but TISS is a Public Funded Deemed University and was incorrectly listed. A clarification from Pune Welfare department dated 26 August, 2015 stated TISS as Public Funded Deemed University. But the administration has been lying to us and claiming to be private and withdrawing funds.”
Students have investigated and found out financial deficit of TISS of last several years. According to this, Rs 25.60 crore was spent on seminars, workshops and conferences, Rs 55.10 crore on maintenance and Rs 21.86 lakhs on Library in 2016. Vanita Tumsare, a student said, “The institute has increased expenditure on expansion plans, projects and other maintenance charges but has decreased expenditure on student’s development. If the Institute has a financial deficit then why and how is it spending so much on expanding campuses? We have been denied scholarships saying the Insitute does not have funds then how are they managing this expenditure?”
TISS administration had suggested students to pay the hostel and dining hall charges by installments. While, OBC NC students were given a waiver of Rs 12,000. Archana Kaware, a student said, “This is not a waiver, the amount of Rs 12,000 is student aid which we can avail of on case by case basis. We have to apply for it and then based on our financial background we are given this waiver. And secondly, we cannot pay in installments because we cannot afford to pay the entire amount which is why we demand for the scholarship in the first place.”
Students have demanded clarity on Rs 11 crore given by UGC. “We have no clue on how the money will be used. We need clarity on it and demand a thorough investigation on TISS administration,” a student said.
Students will continue protest till their demands are fulfilled and fees of upcoming batches is waived off. “Our flight is against TISS administration, UGC, MHRD, State and central government. We will continue protesting till our demands are fulfilled and clarity on financial issues is given to us,” Ahmed added.