Skip to main content

TISS SC, ST students being discriminated, are disbursed scholarship equal to study cost in home district: Scholars

Counterview Desk
In a strange disbursement of scholarship meant for deprived sections, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) students from scheduled castes or tribes (SCs or STs), or those blonging to other backward classes (OBCs), studying in TISS are learnt to be "eligible" to availing only the amount at par with other students from their home districts, doing a similar course in a local government college.
Bringing this to light, a 3,000-word statement signed by mainly by scholars and activists in support of the striking TISS students belonging to its four campuses, Mumbai, Tuljapur, Hyderabad and Gawhati, says, "This means that if a student from Bastar studies in TISS, his course cost would be only the fees that another student from Bastar has to pay."
Citing this as one of the several instances of discrimination against TISS' SC, ST and OBC students, the statement says, this suggests that there are clear cases of fund underutilisation. "For instance, a student from Chhattisgarh studying in TISS would get only Rs 7,500 as fees annually for doing a course in the institution, while the fees is almost Rs 1 lakh."
Calling the argument mindless and petty, the statement says, "Government authorities argue that this would prevent “discrimination’ in fund allocation for other students. There cannot be a special category of ‘premier’ and ‘non-premier’ institutions. All are being treated 'equal'..."
On strike since February 21, 2018, the protest is against the institute’s decision to stop aiding to those belonging SC, ST and OBCs 2016 onwards, the statement says, adding, "Such a situation of non-deliverance of substantial monetary assistance, despite being allocated from the Centre, has already led institutions like TISS into a perennial debt trap."
Instead of figuring out how to come out of the situation by engaging in negotiation with the government bodies and ministries, the statement says, TISS management has put "more pressure on the students to bring more money from their homes."
The statement says, "At the beginning of the 2017 academic year, the TISS administration suddenly announced that it would charge dining hall and hostel fees from everyone – including the Government of India-Post Matriculation Scholarship (GOI-PMS) students belonging to SC and ST categories."
"According to this circular, the students who were then in the second year of the two years masters programme also had to pay", the statement says, adding, "Though this issue has been consistently in debate since 2010 onwards in some form or other, it came up in a big way during the present Modi regime, when it began to target the scholarship to student from specific social groups."
Things started in 2015, says the statment, when the institute "withdrew financial aid to students belonging to the OBC (non-creamy layer), and statistics shows that the representation of OBCs in the institute has taken a hit."
The statement quotes an ST PhD student, Priyanka Sandilya, who in a letter to Jual Oram, the Minister of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), sais that Universities Grants Commission has dropped all the four campuses of TISS from the national list, "leaving them to lose their constitutional rights to avail scholarships", adding, "With the removal of TISS from the UGC list, many Adivasi Scholars enrolled for doctoral studies at TISS have been left staggering without any support."
According to the letter, "In the online application form, the name of TISS did not appear in the list of eligible universities, due to which, many ST students could not apply and some have applied leaving the Institute name blank... As ST students, we are eligible to apply under this scheme, but we are being deprived of being considered for the award of fellowship."
Among more than 150 persons who have signed the letter include TISS professors Chhaya Datar and Virginius Xaxa, former TISS professor Bela Bhatia, social scientist Prof Ghanshayam Shah, former IIT Mumbai professor Ram Puniyani, former Delhi university professor Shamshul Islam,  well known anthropologist Felix Padel, and others.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.