Students of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad are up in arms against the institute’s recent decision to scrap the BA Social Sciences programme and to shut down the hostel facility, which houses around 300 students.
The agitated students claim that the administration has taken this decision without informing the students’ body and timed it strategically to coincide with the students’ semester-break.
The students have taken their resistance online and have begun an online petition on Change.org.
The students have claimed that despite all its flaws in Hyderabad campus, the BA social sciences programme, was one of the best offered by the institute which empowered students belonging to the marginalised communities.
“Despite being one of the few government-funded undergraduate programmes offering quality social sciences education with an interdisciplinary approach, the institute decided to cancel the BA Social Sciences programme without officially providing any reason. Being primarily funded by the Government, students from marginalised sectors could afford relatively, a social science programme which has a curriculum highly relevant for each person to become strongly-opinionated and question the rigid oppressive structure that has been normalised for so many years,” the petition reads.
The students suspect that the decision to scrap the course without their knowledge was because the students of the BA programme were becoming ‘troublesome.’
Salman, a second-year MA student in TISS, lamented that nearly 300 students of TISS would be affected if the administration goes ahead and makes the institution a non-residential campus.
However, Deputy Director of TISS, Professor Siva Raju clarified that they have taken the decision to make the campus a non-residential one because the administration wants to create a campus of its own in Hyderabad. Presently, TISS in Hyderabad does not have a permanent campus and is located on land leased out from the Telangana Panchayat Department.
“The course has not been fully scrapped. It will be reintroduced later,” Raju assured. TISS offers the BA Social Science in two of its campuses—Hyderabad and Tuljapur.
The Masters students, meanwhile, have decided to protest against this decision once they return to the campus.