In a move to mount pressure on district authorities to solve the problems that are in government educational institutions and social welfare hostels, the All India Student Federation (AISF) has launched a district-wide 342km cycle yatra in Telangana's Kamareddy district.
The district executive body of the AISF, consisting of five members, started the cycle yatra on July 1, which will continue till July 13. The yatra, which began from Lingampet mandal, will visit the schools and welfare hostels in the headquarters of each mandal in the district.
AISF leaders told TNM that the yatra will pass through almost all mandals in the district, including Banswada, Pedda Kodapagal, Gandhari, SS Nagar, Ramareddy, Machareddy, Domakonda and Biknoor and will end at the Kamareddy district headquarters.
Speaking to TNM, AISF district secretary K Ganesh said, â€śMost of the school buildings in the district are in pathetic condition. Social welfare hostels which are being run in private buildings (on rent) must be accommodated in own buildings."
"Thousands of students are yet to get their scholarships. Students from poor economic backgrounds are finding it difficult,â€ť he added.
When TNM met the student activists on their yatra on the highway near Gandhari, they said that they will march to the Collectorâ€™s office if the district authorities failed to address their demands.
AISF district vice-president Sai Chaitanya said that more than 56,000 rural students have been affected across the district due to the problems in government welfare hostels, schools and colleges.
"While there are no facilities and infrastructure problems in government colleges, they are removing several courses from their curriculum, as a result of which students are being forced to turn to private colleges,â€ť Sai Chaitanya said.
AISF also reiterated the demand for establishing Government Degree Colleges in Domakonda, Madnoor and Gandhari mandals.
UG courses being scrapped in Kamareddy Arts and Science College?
After several students complained about certain UG courses being missing from applications, Degree Online Services Telangana (DOST) student organisations are now demanding that two undergraduate courses in Kamareddy Government Degree College be continued. Students alleged that efforts are being made to scrap undergraduate courses such as BA (Rural Industries) and B Com (General).
Claiming that UG courses were being scrapped at the Government Arts and Science College in Kamareddy, Telangana Vidyarthi Parishad (TGVP) general secretary and student JAC leader E Naveen Kumar said, â€śThe UGC (University Grants Commission) earlier gave several grants to the college in view of UG courses and Post Graduate courses. Now, removing the courses will only affect poor rural students."
Naveen also demanded that four post-graduation courses â€” M.Com, MA in Telugu, MA in Economics and MSW, which the Commissionerate of Collegiate Education reportedly decided to discontinue for the present academic year, be continued.
TGVP has also given a representation to the District Collector recently on the same issue.
There is also an ongoing row as a fee hike has been proposed by private and corporate institutions, especially the engineering colleges in the state who are demanding a 15 to 20 percent hike in the fee structure for various courses.
For the academic year 2019-20, the colleges lobbied for a 20 percent hike for courses with fee below Rs 50,000 and a 15 percent hike for courses with fee above Rs 50,000. However, this would only be considered a temporary fee hike, until Telangana Admission and Fee Regulatory Committee (TAFRC) issues detailed guidelines regarding the fee structure.