The Hyderabad Schools Parents Association (HSPA), which has recently
filed a PIL in the High Court against indiscriminate fee hikes in
private schools, is devising an action plan to intensify its agitation
to bring pressure on the Telangana government for fee regulation in
private schools before the new academic year begins next month.
The association has been demanding limiting admission fees in all
schools to Rs 5,000, making transfer of students from one school to
another easier along the lines of mobile number portability and
refunding admission fees collected in excess of Rs 5,000 since August
2010, when HC had ruled in favour of collecting only Rs 5,000 as
HSPA secretary Mr N. Subramanyam said they had already taken up
these issues in the PIL filed in the High Court but also wanted to
explore other options like holding demo-nstrations and protest rallies
to bring pressure on the government.
“Parents are now forced to pay admission fees (non-refundable)
anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 2,50,000 even for admissi-on to
nursery classes. The government in undivided AP had issued GO No. 91 in
2009 directing schools not to collect more than Rs 5,000. It was
challenged in the High Court by around 30 schools. However, the Court
had ruled in favour of the government and HSPA (which impleaded in the
case) by upholding the rule,” he added.
The association pointed out that the above rule came into force
from the date of the judgement — August 27, 2010 — and hence all
admission fees collected in excess of Rs 5,000 would have to be
The association also demanded that the government make transfer
of students from one school to other easy, like mobile number
portability. “It’s easy to shift from one mobile service provider to
another today as the cost of shifting is just Rs 19. In contrast, it is
very difficult to shift students from a school without incurring a loss
running into thousands of rupees.
“The parent not only loses the admission fees paid in the
existing school but also has to pay the huge admission fee for the new
school,” he said.
Telangana state government has cracked the whip on errant evaluators of
Intermediate answer sheets. It has issued notices to 2,300 junior
lecturers who committed blunders as evaluators in the April 2015 public
exams and has levied penalties ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 20,000 each.
Several meritorious students were given lower marks despite
performing well in the exams. Students had to then incur unnecessary
expenditure to apply and get revaluations done, besides suffering mental
agony. Intermediate marks have become more significant since 2012 with
the Centre?s policy to give 40 per cent weightage to them in JEE (Main).
Moreover, only students who fall in the top 20 percentile in Inter
exams are eligible for admission into IITs even if they clear JEE (Main)
and JEE (Advanced) with top marks.
Besides, the state government has been giving 25 per cent weightage
for Inter marks in Eamcet since 2009. All these factors have put
enormous pressure on Inter students for securing higher marks in exams
and faulty evaluation has been hurting their prospects. With each mark
being crucial, a variation of up to 30 marks was witnessed in case of
some students due to faulty evaluation. “Notices were issued to errant
evaluators. Penalties have been levied based on the gravity of errors
committed by them.
Telangana government has exempted Scheduled Castes students from
securing stipulated marks in TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT etc., to avail its
“Ambedkar Overseas Vidya Nidhi” scheme, which provides financial
assistance to SC students for pursuing higher studies in post-graduate
courses in foreign universities. A valid score in these exams would be
enough to gain eligibility as per the revised norms.
The government gives a grant of Rs 10 lakh to SC students to take
admissions in foreign universities under the scheme. The government had
issued orders in April 2015 mandating students to have a TOEFL score of
50 or IELTS score of 6.5 or GRE score of 280 or a GMAT score of 550.
However, on Tuesday it issued revised orders stating that students should only have a valid score.
The Congress government in undivided AP had introduced the scheme in
2013 with no stipulated marks for students. In 2015, the TS government
had prescribed minimum marks after which it was observed that a large
number of students, who were applying to varsities without getting the
minimum scores, were getting admissions in the US. But in the I-20s
issued to them, it was mentioned that these students had to take up
English proficiency courses before attending classes in US colleges for
which they had to pay substantial fees and also wait till they became
proficient in English to commence regular courses.
This was causing an additional financial burden on the candidates,
who hail from below poverty line families. “The minimum marks resulted
in only a handful of students getting selected for the scheme. Besides,
there are several other opportunities in other countries barring US, in
which a valid score in these exams is enough for admissions. Such
students can utilise this scheme,” said welfare minister Jogu Ramanna.
He said students could also secure admissions in US varsities with a
valid score but they needed to undergo an English proficiency course for
which they had to bear the expenses on their own.
“It’s up to the students whether to opt for US or other countries.
The government wants to encourage more and more students from SC
category to pursue foreign studies,” he added.
Students from Telangana have given up hope of doing PhDs from the
Osmania University thanks to the inordinate delay by the university in
conducting PhD admissions.
The university had released notification for PhD admissions in July
2014 but the eligibility test was conducted only in January 2015, five
months later. A year later the university has still not conducted PhD
admissions. In fact, OU has not conducted PhD admissions through
eligibility tests since 2013.
While some students are lashing out on social media regarding the
university's failure, many are complaining anonymously fearing that they
may not be selected if identified.
There are other reasons too for the students to feel disgruntled. The
university had released the results of the PhD eligibility test five
months after the exam whereas the rules state that it should be declared
within 60 days of the test.
Moreover, the departments have a limited number of seats for PhD
which are being regularly filled by those who secure national-level
fellowships like UGC/CSIR JRF, ICAR and ICMR or are regular M.Phil
students from OU.
Some students who qualified in the PhD eligibility test see this as a
ploy by the university to fill up seats with M.Phil students from OU
who have political backing. Moreover, eligibility test qualification is
valid for just one year. Some even left jobs to pursue PhD and are now
left in lurch.
After the PhD eligibility test results were released last year in
which 6,000 students qualified, there were violent protests by students
regarding increased cut off marks for the PhD eligibility test and the
criteria of interview, after which admissions were halted.
Three teachers of Hyderabad Central University sat on a one-day hunger
strike on Thursday demanding that Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile be
removed and in-charge VC Vipin Srivastava step down, in order to resume
academic and administrative activities.
The protest by teachers comes a day after a second batch of students
on an indefinite fast demanding justice for Dalit research scholar
Rohith Vemula, who allegedly committed suicide on January 17, were
shifted to hospital following concerns over their health condition.
A teacher from the Osmania University also joined the protesting
teachers in the fast on HCU campus under the banner of SC/ST Teachers'
Forum and other concerned teachers.
Earlier, a group of seven students had also been taken to hospital following their deteriorating health condition.
The agitating students yesterday refused to hold talks with Srivastava, who came to the protest site.
Read: Dalit scholar suicide: 'Overwhelmed' JAC members call bandh a success
They alleged that Srivastava was equally responsible for the "wrong
affairs" and demanded that he step-down from the responsibility of
Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice,
spearheading the agitation over Rohith's suicide, said that students
would intensify the "struggle" till all their demands are met.
Their demands include Podile's resignation, and also Srivastava's
from the post of in-charge VC, "sacking" from Union Cabinet of HRD
Minister Smriti Irani, employment to a family member of Rohith and Rs 50
lakh compensation to his family.
The selection of Srivastava as interim VC was earlier opposed by the
students and SC/ST staff forums as they claimed he headed the Executive
Council sub-committee whose decisions were "responsible for the death of
Rohith" and that he was one of the accused in the death of another
Dalit student in 2008.
Students of most universities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
yesterday boycotted classes in solidarity with the agitators as they
sought "justice" for Rohith.