HYDERABAD: Students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad are angry at the management for their reported decision to shut down the hostel facility on the campus and to scrap BA social science programme from the next academic year.
Though the decision has not been officially communicated to the students or the faculty, the admission website of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), states that “no BA programmes are offered from Hyderabad” and a newspaper advertisement calling for admissions does not list the off-campus as having the BA-SS programme. It also says that “TISS Hyderabad campus is now a non-residential campus”.
The latest development, which students have termed as arbitrary, has not just shocked them but also angered them since it has been communicated discreetly during the semester vacation when students are either on fieldwork for their theses or at home, indicating that the administration did not want any organised resistance against the decision.
Deputy director Prof S Siva Raju told Express that the administration is in the process of developing its own campus and as part of this arrangement, it has been decided to not offer the BA course for the next academic year.
“However it's has not been fully scrapped. It has been set aside for now and could be offered later on,” he said.
The deputy director, however, refused to comment on the issue of closing down the residential accommodation stating the director or registrar should be contacted for a comment.
There is a sentiment among the student community that the number of students from underprivileged sections coming to TISS has drastically reduced over the years and this further nosedived after the campus is made a non-residential.
“As the students of TISS Hyderabad have been at the forefront of all protests, to demand for the rights of its students, this move should also be seen as a measure to curb student activism and a larger move towards depoliticisation and eventual privatisation of the college,” read a statement issued by student body, Azad Mann. TISS Hyderabad campus is ridden with problems -- security concerns, poor infrastructure, sky-rocketing hostel fees, bad mess food, placement issues and fund cuts.
“But does this mean that they shut down a course, instead of trying to expand the infrastructure and work towards bettering the conditions and tackling the problems head on?” queried Varsha Priyadarshini, a BA student. The crackdown on social science cannot be explained in any way except as a shift in ideals of TISS, especially when a new course ‘MA Organisation Development, Change and Leadership’ was introduced in TISS, Hyderabad just this academic year, she said.
Susruth Jagdish, another student of BA programme and a student council member, like most others came to know about the development through the newspaper notification. “Since we are in the middle of semester break we are not able to contact the administration. But as a student of the discipline it is saddening to see the course I love being removed,” he said. Meanwhile, a number of students poured their anguish online.