Backlash over new semester registration policy at TISS | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Backlash over new semester registration policy at TISS

Dec 21, 2023 07:08 AM IST

According to a notice from the TISS administration, semester registration is now contingent upon clearance all previous fee dues and available only after payment of such dues and the semester fee

Mumbai: Students at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) are up in arms over a new semester registration policy linked with fee payment which they say favours students from privileged backgrounds, while potentially excluding others from attending classes. The Progressive Students’ Forum (PSF), a TISS-based students’ outfit, has called for a complete withdrawal of the new policy, saying the earlier, more inclusive approach needs to be reinstated.

Backlash over new semester registration policy at TISS
Backlash over new semester registration policy at TISS

According to a notice from the TISS administration, semester registration is now contingent upon clearance all previous fee dues and available only after payment of such dues and the semester fee. Failure to complete the semester registration process will result in students’ names being struck off the rolls, effectively barring them from attending classes.

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The notice mentions some concessions for students from marginalised backgrounds. Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students who are eligible for post matric scholarships offered by the government will be exempted from paying programme fees. Students from SC, ST and nomadic tribe categories who are eligible for these scholarships can also pay hostel and dining hall charges in instalments.

An official from the institute said the new policy was introduced because many students fail to pay their fees upon joining a semester and some even graduate without clearing their dues, resulting in outstanding amounts worth into crores. The official further pointed out that most institutions, including government ones, mandate fee payment during registration.

But the PSF, in a statement, mentioned that while the earlier system allowed students to attend classes despite delays in fee payment, the new policy threatens to bar students from classroom participation if fees are not paid on time. The policy disproportionately affects students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who may struggle to meet stringent financial deadlines, further perpetuating inequality in education, the statement noted.

The Forum has urged all student organisations on campus to join forces and address this pressing issue, so that every student’s right to education can be protected.

The TISS administration was not available for comment despite several attempts.

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