mid-day editorial: It's time to lend our students an ear

Mar 10, 2018, 06:05 IST | mid-day correspondent

The protests at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) have acted as inspiration and trigger for another section of students

The protests at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) have acted as inspiration and trigger for another section of students. A report in this paper stated that students of Mumbai University have now decided to take a stand against the varsity's decision to increase examination fees. Weary of approaching authorities, often to no avail, political science students have planned to stage a protest with M Phil students, too, joining them as their fellowship has been pending since October 2016.

The students say they have reason to be peeved about the fee hike. They cite poor facilities that, they say, have not improved for years, which is why the examination fee hike is unjustified. There is inadequate varsity accommodation for outstation students, unclean toilets and no sanitary napkin vending machines.

It's not a good sign when students are forced to resort to extreme measures like protests to make their voices heard. Instead, we hope the University, which has said that it has had an initial exchange of views, sits across the table with student representatives and addresses problems. Both must come up with mutually acceptable solutions. Protests and dharnas roil campus atmosphere and are in fact, fertile ground for politicians to step in and take advantage of the situation.

The Mumbai University has been rocked by so much unrest and problems of late, be it examinations and assessment to appointment of chancellors, that it has lost its sheen. These seem like problems that can be resolved through dialogue. Let the academic atmosphere not be vitiated by striking students. University honchos should lend them an ear and if there is merit in what they say, then do try to meet the students' half way so there is a good ending to this chapter.

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