Madurai

VC defends ‘operation cleanup’

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Students are being instigated by a couple of teaching staff, alleges Kalyani Mathivanan

Even as students and research scholars staged an agitation against ‘operation cleanup’ in hostels, Vice-Chancellor Kalyani Mathivanan has remained firm that there will not be any sort of compromise in the hostel rules.

“It is unfortunate that a few academicians have turned instigators. The new hostel rules are not against students or research scholars. We will not be cowed down by any threats from associations,” she said over phone from Chennai on Thursday. She asked the protestors whether they will accept outsiders to stay in hostels meant for them. “ “While genuine students are finding it tough to get hostel rooms, there are people staying on for years in the hostels. So far, no one had the courage to question them,” she said.

Postgraduate students and research scholars who are staying in hostels are protesting against the proposed revamp of hostels. The university is keen to set right the kitchens, increase amenities and the mess bill. “I am for firm handling of issues and naturally people will not like when corrective steps are taken. The university will not allow students to overstay in hostels and particularly the Ph.D. candidates who are occupying hostel rooms beyond the stipulated period.” Defending the rise in mess bill, she asked how the university could maintain hostels by collecting the price/fees fixed several years ago. “Hostels are in a shabby condition and the rate fixed at Rs.60 per day for girls and Rs.70 for boys is not exorbitant. Students are getting scholarship and research scholars get stipend. Is there any logic in protests?” she asked.

The Vice-Chancellor, however, has shown readiness to hold talks if students come on their own for discussion. “They protest only when I am not in Madurai. The same thing had happened a few days ago when girl students staged demonstration.” According to her, the decision to streamline hostels was taken only after a nine-member committee gave a detailed report with recommendations. “We have found that some have been staying in hostel for 10 years claiming to be research scholars while some are there for past seven years. What is wrong in asking these people to vacate and give room to others,” she asked.

For research scholars who are doing their Ph.D., they could stay only for five years from the date of joining which is the norm everywhere.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 9:54:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/vc-defends-operation-cleanup/article3658543.ece

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