Students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) are protesting the indefinite closure of the institution by the administration as students protested against the exorbitant fee hike irrespective of the socio-economic status of the students.

TISS administration had suspended all academic activities sine-die on TISS campus in Hyderabad with immediate effect. The management also asked all the students to vacate the hostels by 5 pm on Monday.

Students are in a flux now as their grievances were not addressed and moreover they were being punished by asking to vacate hostels and suspending all academic activities.

Students have even gone on hunger strike over the hike in hostel and mess fee. The previous fee structure allowed the students to pay the fees in installments or as and when they got financial aid via scholarships.

But now the hostel and mess fee for the entire semester had to be paid at once in the beginning irrespective of the differential socio-economic status of the students (OBS,SC ST students relying on financial aid).

Earlier the students requested the administration to take the responsibility of pupils relying on government of India’s post matric scholarship.

A student said “SC/ST Equal Opportunity Cell Chairperson said the institute will transfer Rs 3,90,000 for 26 students with Rs 15,000 for each as initial payment. But it is not clear whether this 15,000 would be the total semester fees like previous years of just the first installment of the Rs 52,000 we are being charged this year.”

Even if this was agreed upon, it is only a temporary fix and not a permanent solution. Now the students are being forced to drop out for their inability to pay the entire hiked fee at once.

Students of other varsities are showing solidarity with students of TISS. They said it is appalling that an institution that was the pioneer in delivering social justice is now behaving indifferently towards its students.

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