Pondicherry University debars 11 students for protesting fee hike

11 students from Pondicherry University who partook in a movement against fee hike in 2020 have been debarred. Currently, they aren’t allowed to enroll in any course offered by the University and have further been prevented from entering the campus.

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It is worth noting that the protest was held roughly two years ago and was a part of a country wide movement led by central university students against the privatisation of education.

The administration is unwilling to grant the students in question their degree certificates unless they pay a sum of Rs 10,000. The Pondicherry student union believes that the administration’s discontentment with the students is a result of the earlier protests.

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Despite clearing written examinations at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Hyderabad Central University, Abhijeet Sudhakaran, a student who finished his course in 2021 from PU could not attend the interviews to JNU and HCU for his PhD because his alma matter refused to give him his certificates.

Speaking to The Federal, J Prakash, president of Student Federation of India (SFI – Puducherry) said, “Hundreds of students had participated in the protest, but the university handpicked 11 and punished them. It is victimization of students and an autocratic move on part of the university. It is nothing but curtailing the constitutional rights of the students to express themselves.”

Even though Pondicherry university’s non-teaching staff welfare association has come in support of the students, it is unclear whether the administration will retract the oppressive diktat or if students will continue to suffer.

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