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We, the Adivasi Students at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai strongly reject the Plan of Action for GoI-PMS students (dated – 3rd March 2018) and (dated – 10th March 2018). According to the proposal under Section IV: Admission for the academic year 2018-2019 of (1) ST/SC Students eligible for GoI-PMS for Masters Programme – the eligible SC/ST students have to pay upfront fees of Rs. 4500 (towards caution deposit, Student Union fee and Medical Insurance fee) plus Rs. 5000 (first instalment of hostel charges and Rs. 9,500 as total upfront fees) and Rs.10000 hostel fees on instalment and the dining hall charges on monthly basis. This is also applicable for the B.A. and M.Phil- Ph.D. students eligible for GoI-PMS as well.

Clarification –

As per UGC [Institutions deemed to be universities] Regulation, 2016.- F.No. 1-3/2016 (CPPPI/DU) (The Gazette of India: Extraordinary) (Part III- Sec.4).

6.0- Admission and Fees Structure

6.2 (1)

No institution deemed to be University shall charge any fee for an admission test other than an amount representing the reasonable cost incurred by it in conducting such tests.

Provided further that an institution deemed to be University shall not engage in commercialization of education in any whatsoever, and shall provide for equity and access to all deserving students.

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) had developed a mechanism of fee exemption for ST/SC students i.e waiving off Hostel and Dining Hall charges to all deserving students coming from social and economic marginalized sections of the society (i.e eligible ST/SC GoI- PMS). This mechanism ensured that the Institute followed its mandate of inclusive education premised on social justice. Thus the fee waiver/ exemption provided to the Adivasi students were to redress the historical injustice done to them, but by asking these students to pay upfront fees of Rs. 9,500 during the time of admission (i.e upfront fees) and Rs. 10,000 for hostel charges (in instalment) and Rs. 3,600 approx. per month as dining hall charges is reaffirming historical injustice done to them. This move of the institute will significantly prevent Adivasi students from coming into TISS because they will be unable to pay the high fees which the institute is demanding.

Adivasis are the First Nation of this country [India] and denying them waiver from the Dining Hall Charges and Hostel Fees is doing injustice to the people who have the first claim over this land. The Adivasi students see the fee waiver/ fee exemption as their Right, not a charity or favour. In one hand, their ancestors have witnessed the formation of Indian Union and on the other hand, they have been forced to live in the peripheries of the Indian society. It is only in the recent years that the Adivasis have started entering into the institutes of higher learnings (most of the Adivasi students in TISS in Higher education are mostly first generation learners).

In one of the debates of the Constituent Assembly on December 19, 1946, he [Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda] briefly summarised the Adivasi situation in the country. Jaipal Singh Munda said, “As a jungli, as an Adibasi,” and he continued his speech saying “I am not expected to understand the legal intricacies of the Resolution. But my common sense tells me that every one of us should march in that road to freedom and fight together. Sir, if there is any group of Indian people that has been shabbily treated it is my people. They have been disgracefully treated, neglected for the last 6,000 years. The history of the Indus Valley Civilization, a child of which I am, shows quite clearly that it is the newcomers — most of you here are intruders as far as I am concerned — it is the newcomers who have driven away my people from the Indus Valley to the jungle fastness…The whole history of my people is one of continuous exploitation and dispossession by the non-aboriginals of India punctuated by rebellions and disorder….

The demand of the Adivasi Students for the Hostel and Dining Hall fee waiver/ exemption for the eligible GoI-PMS (Adivasi/Tribal/ST) students is just and reasonable. We, the Adivasi students would hereby catechize TISS Administration to immediately look into this matter and deliver justice to the students of the First Nation.

JOHAR TISS/ Adivasi Students’ Forum also express their solidarity with the demands of the Dalits/ SC and OBC(NC) Students. Adivasi Students’ Forum will continue to protest and fight for the Rights of the Adivasi Students until and unless their demands are fulfilled.

Hul Johar…!!

Jai Birsa..!! Jai Phulo…!! Jai Jhano…!!

Jai Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda…!!

JOHAR TISS/ ADIVASI STUDENTS’ FORUM

TISS, Mumbai.

Date: 12-03-2018

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