Tribune News Service
Patiala, October 25
Protesters have brought work to a halt at Punjabi University, Patiala. While a select number of contractual staff of the university had been protesting for two weeks now, students have also started a protest against the increase in course fee outside the VC office here.
Student activists associated with the Democratic Students’ Organisation (DSO), Punjab, Punjab Student Union, AISF, PRSU and PSU (Lalkar) participated in the protest under the banner of the Sanjha Vidyarthi Morcha.
The students said they held a rally over their concerns on Friday as well. “We have now decided to hold an indefinite strike outside the VC office. The protest will continue until our demands are met by the administration,” the students said.
Vikram Singh, a student leader associated with the Democratic Students’ Organisation (DSO), Punjab, said: “We want the university to rollback its decision of increase in course fee. They have increased the fee ranging from 3.4 per cent to over 109 per cent. Excessive fee being charged for the newly launched five-year integrated courses should also be reduced.”
He said other issues being raised by students included restarting fellowships of some students, carrying out regular hiring of teaching staff for the campus, creating provisions for infrastructure, including hostels and classrooms, restarting MPhil course and rollback of increased late fee on books issued from the library.
Lakhwinder, another student leader of the PSU, said: “It is the government’s duty to provide education to people. But the government has decreased the university’s grant in the past several years, leading to financial losses.”
The students said they also held a meeting with a number of officials, but could not reach a conclusion.
“We have decided to hold an indefinite strike outside the VC office. Students from one each of arts and sciences courses will take part in the protest each day till our demands are met”, students pointed out.
Action sought against staff ‘involved’ in scams
Students associated with the Secular Youth Federation of India (SYFI) held a poster campaign on the campus demanding action against employees allegedly involved in various scams. The students pasted posters at various places on the campus and demanded action against “those involved” in the scams. Leading the protest, SYFI president Yadvinder Singh said: “There will be no need to increase the fee if the university initiates action against those involved in the scams.”
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