Monday, February 25, 2008

Double Take

An Interview with the administration and DBMSA on the issue of SC/ST MA fellowships

Raju Nayak, President - DBMSA, EFL-U

(DBMSA is a student organization that works for the welfare of the Dalit, Bahujan and Minority students of the University. The organization offers a space for the development of political awareness among students. It also conducts discussions and talks on various contemporary issues for the intellectual growth of the students. DBMSA organizes remedial classes for the needy students. It also provides guidance regarding various issues related to the courses and admission procedure.)

Q: Can you explain the content of the petition DBMSA has submitted regarding the SC/ ST MA fellowship?
It is a proposal to the University to grant fellowship to the SC/ST MA students who are economically backward.

Q: Who submitted the petition and when was it submitted?
Being the President of DBMSA, I submitted the petition to the VC on behalf of the organization. It was submitted on 26th November 2007.

Q: Why this petition?
This petition is an attempt to help the SC/ST MA students who are economically backward and who thus find it difficult to meet the expenses of photocopying, mess bills, tuition fees etc. There are students who cannot even meet the bus and train fares. This fellowship can be an encouragement for such students to pursue higher education.

Q: Have you submitted similar petitions in the past and why this petition now?
Yes, we have submitted similar petitions in the past and since we are a Central University now, we request the University to provide fellowships from the available funds. Our University being a ‘welfare university’ and one which takes HCU as its model in several matters, we demand the administration to look into how all the MA students are given fellowships in HCU and implement similar measures here.

Q: What response did you get from the administration?
Mr. Satish Poduval, the Dean of Student Welfare has sent me a letter in which he acknowledges the fact that the administration has recognised the problems of the SC/ST students, but refused to take any direct steps in this regard, saying that there is no UGC provision for such an action. Instead, the administration would try to provide some “merit-cum-means” fellowship for the MA students from the beginning of the next academic year. Also, he asked me to collect applications from the needy students and send it to him so that he will try to provide some relief from the Student Welfare Fund until a scheme for MA Fellowship is finalised.

Q: Did you forward any such applications to the administration?
Yes, I did that, but when I went to the administration with some applicants, I got an unpleasant response. Some of the employees in the administration told me that they don’t believe in “middle men” or mediators, thereby, trying to prevent me and DBMSA from helping the SC/ST students. I think that this statement reveals the administration’s attitude against the SC/ST students.


Muralidhar Tadi , Deputy Registrar, EFL-U

Q: How do you respond to DMSA’s proposal to give fellowship to the SC/ST MA students?
Giving fellowship to the SC/ST MA students would be a good measure. I know many students who are in need of financial assistance. Thus, the scholarship is a necessary thing not only for the SC/ST students, but also for the Minority and Economically backward students. Our university should have a reserve fund to make this possible. The University is looking into the UGC recommendations regarding this matter. Nothing has been finalized till now; it may take a little while, but the University is taking this issue in a manner which would be favorable to the students.

Q: What are the steps in the processing of such a petition?
If the VC finds that the cause for which you are arguing is a genuine one, he will ask the accounts section to generate a fund for this cause by identifying proper sources.


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