'For the Edu min, it looks silly, but it's about the life of 7000 plus students': Protests continue at IIIT Basar for 3rd day

The students have been protesting for the last two days and Thursday marks their third day of protest. Still, they haven't received a convincing response either from the college authorities or the government.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  16 Jun 2022 10:09 AM GMT
For the Edu min, it looks silly, but its about the life of 7000 plus students: Protests continue at IIIT Basar for 3rd day

Nirmal: Dark clouds gathered over Nirmal on Thursday morning, but nothing could dampen the spirits of the 8,000-odd students who had gathered at the main gate of the state-run Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT), also known as IIIT Basar, to protest against the poor quality of education and lack of facilities at the institution.

The students have been protesting for the last two days and Thursday marks their third day of protest. Still, they haven't received a convincing response either from the college authorities or the government.

On Wednesday, state education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy held a meeting with officials, including Home minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, to discuss the issue. She gave assurance that all the problems of the students will be addressed shortly. She also termed the students' demands as silly. "To the education minister, our problems might look silly but it is about the lives of over 7,000 students," said Amulya, a second-year electrical engineering student at IIIT Basar.

The students are not very hopeful about the outcome of the meeting. One of them said, "We will not stop protesting unless KCR or KTR visits the campus and addresses us directly."

Considering the various issues that they are facing on the campus, the Students Governing Council (SGC), a students' body that exists to address the issues of students, decided to call a protest on Tuesday in front of the admin building against the college authorities' failure to provide basic facilities. A large number of students joined the protest.

The students have made 12 major demands. They include improving the faculty-student ratio; appropriate sports, ICT, and library facilities; and good teaching staff among others.




MAUD minister KTR tweeted a post about the students' issues but the students say retweeting is not the kind of assurance they need. They alleged that he has done this before and still the problems persist.

On Wednesday, Nirmal district collector Musharraf Faruqui visited the campus and assured a fund of Rs. 10-20 lakhs but the students say it would not be enough to provide them even the basic facilities.

How did it all begin?

While the students started protesting two days ago, the issues they are facing have persisted for the last couple of years. Lack of good quality food and water is one of the important problems they are facing on the campus.

In an incident that happened recently, a dead frog was found in the food provided in the intermediate first-year students' mess. The authorities assured the students that they will ensure quality food within a week but students say little has changed since then.

At the same time, the students say they are not just fighting for quality food.

No latches, students use buckets to hold tight bathroom doors

Another important issue that the students, both boys and girls, have raised is the lack of latches in bathroom doors. "The toilets and bathrooms are in a very bad condition and there is no regular maintenance," says Manoj, a second-year civil engineering student.

There are around 4,500 girls on the campus. "We use buckets to support the bathroom doors," says Amulya. Besides, the students also say that they do not have proper mattresses and cots in the hostels.

IIIT has six-year integrated courses, intermediate and BTech combined. According to the students, they have been facing these problems since they joined the campus, 3-4 years back. When the first-year intermediate students protested in 2018 over the lack of uniforms, laptops, and other necessities, they were immediately provided the said items to pacify them. But the junior students did not receive these essentials.

According to the students, during the NAAC inspection in 2021, the college was awarded a C grade for its facilities and performance.



'For the Edu min, it looks silly, but it's about the life of 7000 students': Protests continue at IIIT Basar for 3rd day

No permanent V-C

The students are also demanding a permanent Vice-Chancellor for the institution. On Wednesday, education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy called this demand "pointless" and asked what difference it would make.

"Whenever we have an issue, we are forced to meet multiple officials and the solution gets delayed. If we have a V-C, the SGC can directly convey the students' concerns to the V-C. Also, the previous temporary V-Cs held multiple positions and as a result, were not available to listen to and resolve our problems," explains Amulya who is also a member of the SGC.

'Our hopes are getting shattered'

A majority of the students at IIIT Basar come from poor backgrounds and are elated when they get admission in a government college. "When we got admission here, we thought we would get a good education and adequate facilities but the reality was far from our expectation. Our parents send us here thinking we will get good placements," says Amulya and adds, "Provide us with good facilities and we will definitely study hard and make the institution proud."

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