Following the Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ decision to scrap the BA Social Science course and to shut down its hostels, the college’s alumni are planning to start a change.org petition, asking the administration to revoke the decision. The alumni are also putting out a statement condemning the decision.

The institute’s decisions weren’t formally announced, but the students and the alumni came to know this only after the applicants checked the website for 2019 admissions to see a message that said ‘No BA programme offered from Hyderabad’. Also, on the page that displays information about TISS’ Hyderabad campus, it is said that the campus is non-residential from the academic year 2019-20.

“Being a BA  Alumni I feel very sad because this programme allowed me to grow as a person. We are trying to get as many signatures as possible for this petition,” says Kalyani Jada, a TISS alumna, who put up a Facebook post, asking the other alumni to express solidarity. Unsure of what can be done now, she says that the decision came as a shocker to her. “A professor has told another alumnus that the programme is being scrapped owing to fund crunch and the alumni must support the institute. But I really don’t think that is the reason,” says Kalyani, adding that the withdrawal of hostel facilities will put the students from backward classes in a position where they will not be able to afford the courses in TISS.

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The current TISS students have their semester break going on and are not on the campus right now, leaving them in a position to not do anything about the situation. “The students in Hyderabad have been vocal about the problems here, which are aplenty. The campus is rented and the hostels are outside the campus,” says Bibin Sam Thomas, a III year BA student, adding, “There are students from various backgrounds. The diversity will be affected.” He also recalls an incident where the hostel tender was passed to a private service provider when the students weren’t there in the campus.

He alleges that since the sexual harassment cases were rampant in the hostel, this is the institute’s strategy of washing its hands off the responsibilities. “Students from marginalised backgrounds will be very reluctant to apply now since there’s no hostel and it is very sad,” he says.

Kalyani and Bibin say that the admin has been covertly altering the policies for a while now, the notable being the change in the SC/ST reservations. “This no longer allows students from economically weaker sections of depressed classes to study in TISS. They’re transforming it into an elitist institution,” says Kalyani. “I think they want to demolish the campus. There were issues., but we never thought that they’d scrape the programme as such,” she adds.

Source : Edexlive

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