TISS Students Protest Against Administration’s ‘Aadhaar’ Order, Change in Fee Payment Rules

The TISS administration had issued a circular on May 26 making it mandatory for all students to submit Aadhaar cards to continue their courses.

Credit: Facebook/Tata Institute of Social Sciences

New Delhi: Students of all four campuses of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) have decided to “boycott paying all fees” as the administration has suddenly changed some of the rules, including passing “a compulsory order” for the students to upload their Aadhaar cards, even as the summer vacation is on.

In a press note issued on June 4, the TISS students coordination committee said, “The students have been instructed to upload a copy of their Aadhaar card. The order said it is compulsory to complete the registration before 8th June, 2017, in order to continue the programme in the third semester.”

Though, as per the Supreme Court order, Aadhaar cards can’t be made mandatory, the institute’s May 26 order “directly puts students without Aadhaar card under the threat of not being able to continue in the programme they have been pursuing in the university.”

“It is also to be noted that students from Manipur and Assam do not posses Aadhaar cards. Except this, the students are also worried about their right to privacy being violated.”

The note further said, “The student community also feels that the issuing of the circular on May 26 was wrong on the part of the administration as this was during the vacation, while the students were dispersed across the country and there was no student’s union to act as (their) representative.”

“On making inquiry by many students, the institute administration issued a clarification on May 30, 2017, which raised further concerns for students across the campuses…due to the absence of a student union in the mean time, many students comprised of all the four campuses of TISS Mumbai, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Tuljapur have rigorously discussed the issues and have come to a conclusion of boycotting all the fees of TISS,” the note said.

The student committee demanded the withdrawal of the order and also asked for “a fair extension date to all students finding it difficult to pay fees, without being threatened to have their admission terminated or denied hostels already allotted to them.”

The note said that many students who are dependent on scholarship funds “have been instructed (by the administration) to pay a portion of their fee by June 8, and have been strongly asked to make arrangements for the same before coming to the campus.”

“With multiple states yet to grant scholarship funds to students, and due to some states not recognizing TISS as a deemed, centrally-funded university, students have no means of availing scholarships provided by their states, thus making it extremely difficult for them to even pay a portion of the fee as instructed, in the limited time seemingly deemed fit by the institute with no consultation with the affected students, to avail extension of payment of fee,” the committee said.

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