Mumbai: No fellowship for TISS' protesting students
Institute clarifies disciplinary action is for barging into registrar's office and blocking office area, categorised as 'misconduct', but students call it vindictiveness
In a shock to students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) who have been protesting against the administration, their fellowship has been stopped. Reason: the institute has decided not to clear their certification, a key document to be submitted to the University Grants Commission (UGC) for clearing the fellowship amount.
The institute, on July 10, issued a notice naming 27 students for whom continuation forms for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) won't be certified over misconduct from March 23 to 28 — the period when the protesting students had barged into the registrar's office and blocked the office area.
Students have alleged that the institute is being vindictive by sabotaging their academics. "This is to bring to the knowledge of concerned that disciplinary action has been initiated against the following M.A., M.Phil., and PhD students for blocking and occupying the registrar's office from March 23 to March 28, 2018, which amounts to misconduct ...all those availing JRF and any other fellowships, their continuation forms will not be certified till the disciplinary proceedings are completed. This is in accordance with UGC guidelines..." read the notice.
Former general secretary of TISS student union and one of those leading the agitation, Fahad Ahmad, who is on the list, said, "This reminds me of Rohit Vemula's suicide letter. He had written how his JRF is pending... In his case too, his institute had stopped it. What is TISS trying to do?"
An institute official, however, clarified that the disciplinary action was not due to the protest. "There are other aspects too. Most don't have complete attendance or lag behind in academic activities. The institute has to give an academic record of a student for a public-funded scholarship, and it cannot give a false report. Certification of those who have attended classes and are up-to-the-mark on academic activities has been cleared."
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