TISS students stand united against CUET-PG implementation, other policies | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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TISS students stand united against CUET-PG implementation, other policies

Jan 08, 2024 07:48 AM IST

Six student organizations at TISS Mumbai unite to address concerns over non-implementation of entrance test, restrictions on financially disadvantaged students, and ban on events. They argue that these issues align with a government agenda aimed at centralised control over education. The coalition demands dialogue with the administration to address these concerns and calls for larger changes in favor of students' rights and equal opportunities for education at TISS. TISS officials state that outstanding fee amounts have reached crores due to non-payment.

Mumbai: Six student organisations at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai joined forces to address three critical issues facing the students. These concerns include the non-implementation of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for the current academic year, restrictions on financially disadvantaged students from attending classes due to non-payment of semester fees, and an indirect ban on organising events within the institute.

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This unified stance marks the first joint statement issued by all student unions at TISS. The coalition argues that the Union government’s push for CUET-PG and changes within institutions like TISS align with an agenda aimed at centralised control over education. The joint statement issued on social media handles of the student’s union read: “This move is perceived as an attempt to standardise admission processes, diminishing autonomy and privileging a select group of individuals. The broader strategy is seen as exerting influence, stifling dissent, and reshaping institutions, particularly within the context of some religious politics.”

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Joint statement released by the TISS Students’ Union which includes Adivasi Students’ Forum (ASF), Ambedkarite Students Association (ASA), Fraternity, Muslim Students Forum (MSF), Northeast Students Forum (NESF), Progressive Students Forum (PSF), and Students Federations of Dravidians (SFD).

Several significant issues arise from the implementation of CUET-PG at TISS. Firstly, it jeopardises the institute’s diversity and inclusivity, potentially favouring privileged candidates with access to specific coaching. The decision to scrap TISSNET and introduce CUET also undermines TISS’s commitment to social justice and inclusion. Furthermore, the move is criticised for eroding the student aid fund, introducing domain-specific papers that disadvantage diverse academic backgrounds, and imposing financial barriers through high registration fees.

Recently, the TISS administration changed the rule of semester admission. As per the new rule, semester registration is now contingent upon clearance of 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.

The students’ union, backed by various student organisations, demanded immediate dialogue with the administration to address these concerns. Key demands included rolling back CUET-PG, reinstating TISS-NET, withdrawing the new system impacting students’ class attendance, and removing the ban on organising events. The coalition emphasises the fight against anti-student policies for the future of TISS as an institution valuing diversity, inclusivity, and social change. They urge a reconsideration of decisions, emphasising TISS’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and social justice values. The unified stand is a call for larger changes in favour of students’ rights and a commitment to providing fair and equal opportunities for quality education at TISS.

A TISS official told HT that several students failed to pay their fees upon joining the semester, and some even graduated without clearing their dues, resulting in outstanding amounts reaching into crores.

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