No time to even breathe: Students at Andhra's Vignan University protest 'unfair' rules

The university claimed that it was a "peaceful gathering" of student representatives, and that classes have been suspended.
No time to even breathe: Students at Andhra's Vignan University protest 'unfair' rules
No time to even breathe: Students at Andhra's Vignan University protest 'unfair' rules
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There was tension at Vignan University in Andhra's Guntur district on Friday, after several students blocked the main road inside the campus with a list of demands. 

The campus is situated in Vadlamudi, on the outskirts of Guntur city.

The students claimed that they were protesting against constant changes in the rules of the university, many of which are unfair, according to them. 

In a statement, the students laid out a point-wise agenda. 

"The University management is not at all following NAAC norms. There was no grievance committee in the campus until very recently when a final-year student sent a mail to the UGC board," the students alleged. 

"There are many unfair rules and regulations in the campus regarding attendance, percentage and permissions. A new security system in place, has also seen the guards manhandling students," they said. 

The students claimed that there was 'flexibility' up to the last year, but things changed when Dr Krishna Chaitanya Etika was appointed as the Dean of Academics.

"After his appointment, the rules became strict, with hectic schedules, so that a student could not even breathe," the students alleged.

"Whenever the management wants to, they change the rules, without any prior notification. They then force students to follow those rules. The regulations have been changed four times in the last one and a half years," the students claimed.

They also stated that they were mandated to have an attendance of 80% to write the semester exam. 

"The rest of the 20% is also not left up to us. We can't just opt for a leave. We will be provided one, only when the class in-charge approves," the students said.

The students also claim that anyone late to class by five minutes, loses attendance for two hours.

"Recently, the management introduced new security staff in the campus, who manhandle us and even the female students," they alleged.

They also say that they are made to study from 8am to 3.45pm, followed by extra classes till 5.30pm, including classes on Sundays sometimes, with no time for sports or other activities. 

The students also repeatedly stressed that their 'fight' wasn't against the management itself, but against the rules that were being enforced.

As of now, classes have been suspended.

Responding to the allegations, Vignan group Vice Chairman Lavu Krishnadevarayalu stated that the “Grievance redressal committee with the list of members was advertised on the university’s website. It is very much active and is placing its minutes time and again to the highest body.”
‪He added that, “There were no protests but a gathering of representatives and various student bodies in a very peaceful manner.” 
‪“The request from them (the students) was the reduction of working hours from 8am to 3pm against the present time of 3.45pm. They also asked that semester attendance be reduced from minimum 80% to 75%, while adding that they want to write two mid-semester exams rather than three. We explained to them that they are aspiring for professional jobs and there they need to work for a minimum of 8 hours and an attendance of over 95% is expected of them,” he added.
‪Krishnadevarayalu said that 90% of the students were convinced, and the management has “given them time to introspect what is necessary for them and what is not.”

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