Accusing the administration of mistreating them and ignoring their concerns, students of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, Basar started a protest at the administration block, demanding that the Chancellor, Governor of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh ESL Narasimhan Rao, immediately intervene and address their problems.
Hundreds of students blocked the administration building and boycotted their classes.
After a second-year engineering student took her life on Saturday, the protesting students took to social media to stage their protest. And being a minister who is apparently accessible and responds promptly, the students tagged caretaker Minister of Urban Development and Municipal Administration KT Rama Rao in their posts, along with a #corruptionfreergukt hashtag.
Responding to the tweets on Sunday, the minister said that the students’ delegation could meet him and explain their plight.
However, the agitating students said they were not ready to visit KTR, thus continuing with their social media campaign and protests.
“There is no point in meeting and explaining our problems to KTR in a closed room. We want the minister to come here and address the entire student community,” said a student, who has been handling the social media campaign, on condition of anonymity.
The student said that there was a lot of anger against the administration for many months, which finally led to a massive protest. He said that they would call off the protest only after the Governor visits the University and hears out their demands.
“We have been facing a lot of problems, but there is nobody to address them. We only have an interim Vice-Chancellor for nearly four years who does not care about our problems. So, it is the Chancellor who has to step in and address our concerns,” he said.
Some of the demands of the students include: Form a students’ governing council; appoint a permanent Vice Chancellor, Director and faculty; change examination pattern; introduce research in studies; keep library open without any time restrictions; drop the outpass system for students; allow laptops inside dormitory and home; limit the policing by security, and transparency in administration.
“We need to have a students’ governing council, who would take up our issues and fight for us. The food we get is not nutritious, which is a grave concern. Though most of the students are aged above 18, the administration still requires us to obtain outpass to leave the institution. Aren’t we grown up enough to go out? Isn’t it undemocratic?” the student said.
He alleged that the administration and security personnel mistreat them. “The security people use foul language when our parents come to meet us. They treat us like criminals.”
The students also demanded that the university expand the campus hospital to accommodate more than 100 students at least. “In the university, we have a hospital with just 30 beds for 6,500 students and 3 messes with around 2,000 students each. In case any incident of food poisoning happens in one mess, 2,000 students would fall ill and have to be treated. And this incident happened earlier,” said another student.
Meanwhile, the university’s Vice-Chancellor A Ashok remained unavailable for comment on the issue, despite numerous attempts to reach him.