Khammam: Left-wing student unions laid siege to the collector’s office in the Khammam district of Telangana on July 5. They were demanding the withdrawal of a state government’s orders discontinuing postgraduate courses in the SR&BJNR Degree College.
The protesting students alleged that with the decision, the State government is privatizing higher education, that will take the higher education further out of reach of the poor.
The protesters said that students will now have to travel long distances to take up PG courses at Hyderabad and Warangal or shell out a lot of money at private colleges. Moreover, at least 63 guest faculty and 15 non-teaching staff have lost their jobs at the degree college. Student leaders of the SFI, AISF, PDSU, DYFI, and PYL participated in the protest and also took out a rally from SR&BJNR Degree College to the Collectorate earlier in the day.
The rally was obstructed by the police near Two Town police station and some protesters were even taken into custody. Later, the leaders reached the Collectorate via other routes and laid siege to the building.
According to sources, the higher education commissioner, Naveen Mittal, had issued orders to State degree colleges to submit a report on whether they are equipped to run PG courses. The principal of the SR&BJNR Degree College, in his report stated that the college was lacking in both infrastructure and teaching staff to continue PG courses. Based on the letter, the government discontinued at least eight PG courses.
Meanwhile, the protestors are alleging that differences between degree lecturers and the principal led to the former not being allowed to teach PG students.