After student protests at RGNUL Patiala saw victory (background reading is here), students at neighboring HPNLU Shimla too have started protests.
RGNUL Students’ Victory
HPNLU Shimla’s students have issued a grievance letter. The full letter is below:
We introduce ourselves as the students of Himachal Pradesh National National University. It is due to extreme distress and vexation that we pray your attention, in this matter of utmost urgency and concern.
We write this, as our future lies in dark abyss due to the ignorant attitude of the management towards the demands of the students. Therefore we have come forth in solidarity, not to protest, but to reasonably demand that the inexplicably obtuse administration of this university, comes forth to answer these pressing issues:
1) Lack of basic facilities
This is very embarrassing for us to state, that despite repeated requests on behalf of the students, and through the various written representations given by the mess committee, the administration has prima facie failed miserably to comply with the demands, and have addressed such issues by means of vague assurances.
The facilities which we refer to are:
Mess Food- The mess facilities being provided by the university are not only unsatisfactory but have caused serious health issues amongst the students, such as food poisoning, diarrhea, nausea, stultification, etc.
Potable water- The purification systems are often in a worn-out condition, and are seldom maintained. Also, the purifier in the university, along with the hostels, are installed in unhygienic places, which reek of dung.
Residential allotments- The students are compelled to reside in inhumane accommodations, which are plagued with a plethora of defects inter alia, spurious ceilings that leak in the monsoons, the rooms damped with moisture, lacking ventilation and improper cleaning services.
Inspite of such abhorring conditions of the rooms, the quantum
of residents accommodated on an average extend from 3-4, who are pressed to share an ill-fitted washroom.
In blatant disregard of unassailable statutory mandate U/s 4(b), RTI Act 2005, the administration has failed to make public various documents and details pertaining to their functioning.
It is with great melancholy, we bring to your kind notice that arbitrariness has swallowed the institution policy formulation, a vice which judicial intellect has hitherto attempted to curtail. The utilisation of the students’ hefty annual fees remains undisclosed, and the administration persistently depicts itself to be in dearth of the finances.
We want written justification for the following heads of fees:
1. Journal Fee- ₹1500 (paid by every student each year but no publication yet).
2. Sports and Game Facilities- ₹2000 (The number of sporting goods and equipment made available is suspiciously and grossly disproportionate to the amount paid by the students every year).
3. Reading material fees- ₹1000 (Paid by every student each year, still none have ever received anything resembling reading material).
4. Multimedia fees- ₹4000 (The hardware i.e. public computers, projectors, projector screens, sound systems etc are grossly inadequate despite this fee being paid by every student every year).
5. Seminar/ workshop/ visiting faculties fees- ₹5000.
6. Internet Charges- ₹9000 (Grievances already detailed beforehand).
7. Student Bar Council Fund- ₹2500 (Details as to the utility of this fee).
8. Student Development Fund- ₹2500 (Details as to the utility of this fee).
9. Moot Court Fees- ₹9000 (No formal training imparted to students except a single workshop conducted in a half-hearted manner. No traveling allowance provided to students participating in various moots and parliamentary debates due to which students are unable to participate in such events)
3) Regulatory defects
The library shuts at 8:00 p.m., due to which students are not able to avail the facilities necessary for academic growth and achievements.
Further, most of the hostels lack Wi-Fi facilities, which hinder access to online resources.
The discriminatory curfew timings for the girls’ and boys’ hostels have also prevailed since the inception of the university.
The above-mentioned issues are not exhaustive, but these legitimate demands and matters incidental thereto and connected therein, require immediate redressal.
In lieu of the above-mentioned issues, the students of HPNLU, decided to peacefully put forth the contentions before the administration, to which they didn’t provide satisfactory responses.
Thereafter, it becomes imperative for the students, considering their personal and collective interests, to highlight the issues. The pity state of affairs cannot be justified by any factual averments and the conditions mandate a swift redressal by way of a written assurance, under the seal of the university.
We seek a reply to the aforementioned conditions within half an hour, as the students present will continue to gather together and sit outside the office, until this condition is dealt with. The accountability for any mishappening lies upon the university administration.