New Delhi: All India Other Backward Class Students Association (AIOBCSA) on Monday demanded exemption from the fee payment structure for OBC students hailing from financially backward families, similar to what Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe students are eligible for.
On Monday, AIOBCSA held a press meet addressing the key issues of OBCs face at different levels especially in higher education. They demand that all reservation-eligible students be treated as eligible for full fee waiver in all higher educational institutions including Central Universities, IITs, IIMs, NITs, IISERs and IISc.
As of now, the fee exemption is for the students from OBC category whose family income is below 1 lakh per year, and fee waiver by two thirds for students with an income level below 5 lakhs.
According to the Ministry of Education letter dated 8th April 2016, all SC, ST and PH students get complete fee weaver in IITs and NITs.
The group also demanded increase the number of national fellowships for OBCs from 1000 to 5000. They said there are nearly 800 universities and 37,204 colleges in India, and as such ''mere 1000 fellowships for OBC students will not be sufficient''.
AIOBCSA criticized Hyderabad University for not implementing Institutions of Eminence (IoE) recruitment in the campus. The IoE scheme has been launched to implement the commitment of the Government to empower the higher educational institutions and to ensure world class teaching and research institutions under Ministry of Education. The students said proper reservation policy in Institutions of Eminence will enhance affordable accessibility for ordinary citizens in higher education.
The OBC collective has been organizing a relay protest in University of Hyderabad since December 24, 2020 by addressing their demands on reservation implementation, proper admission process and faculty recruitment for OBCs. The students also condemned the report prepared by Prof. Ram Gopal Rao Committee about which they have raised serious objections.
The committee was constituted with the intention of effectively implementing the reservation policy in IITs, but the report is said to have exempted caste-based reservations in faculty recruitments. AIOBCSA urged the Minister of Education to form an inclusive committee with experts from SC, ST, OBC and women by rejecting the Ram Gopal Rao report.
The OBC group is planning to go for further action by conducting nation-wide protests and to hold a Mahadharna in Delhi during the next parliamentary session if the demands are not met.
Other demands put forward by AIOBCSA at the press meet include effective implementation of 27% reservation in teaching posts in all central universities in all sanctioned posts that is 674 Professor, 1352 Associate Professor and 2924 Assistant Professor Posts.
An immediate filling of OBC sanctioned posts through special recruitment drive is another demand raised by the body.