TISS Hyderabad BA Students declare indefinite boycott against Management shut down of BA course and Hostels
The students of Tata Institute of Social Science, Hyderabad, have boycotted their classes and organised a sit-in protest in front of the SR Sankaran Block, from November 10 condemning the institute’s decision to scrap the BA courses and make the institute non-residential from the next academic year.
The surprising thing about TISS’s decision to cancel the BA. Social Sciences course and to make remove all hostel facilities, is that the decisions were taken when all students were away on either semester break or fieldwork. Neither the students nor the elected student’s body was informed about this decision before it was taken. The BA Student Collective has also stated that this move came right after a meeting was conducted between the authorities and the members of the Students Council, wherein the safety of the students was guaranteed in the future but nothing was mentioned about the Administrations plans to cancel the BA. Social Science course or remove all hostel facilities.
Presently, TISS Hyderabad does not have a permanent campus and is located on land leased out from the Telangana Panchayat Department.
Jayasree Subramanian, an Ex-Faculty of TISS Hyderabad, spoke out in support of the protesting students and stated that publicly funded Universities do not have a unilateral right to run or close programs more like how a grocery shop owner has the right to sell wheat flour or not. She pointed out that India is overflowing with academic institutions and desirable academic programs and when an academic program closes, a set of students lose an opportunity to pursue a course of higher education that they desire to pursue.
The BA Students Collective of TISS Hyderabad had also released a press statement on the 10th of December stating that they would continue this boycott on the 11th of December as well as their demands laid in their demand charter were not met.
Edexlive reported that there have been numerous cases of sexual harassment of female students who stay in the hostels. The students claim that this is an attempt to shrug off responsibility instead of taking adequate steps to assure the safety of the students. The hostels are situated 7 km away and the students have regularly faced catcalling and sexual harassment, but the Management has always disregarded and brushed away the complaints. The BA Students Collective insisted that the Management could not shy away and run away from its responsibility.
The general body of TISS Guwahati has also come out in support and solidarity of the students in Hyderabad, The TISS Students Council announced that they would be launching an indefinite boycott, supported by all students of TISS Hyderabad of all streams until the matter was resolved by the Management.