Hyderabad: OBC organizations in Hyderabad University is holding a relay satyagraha against violation of reservation policy and discrimination in the University. Protestors claim that the University administration is using 'oppressive measures to take away the rights of Other Backward Caste students in Hyderabad University'.
'OBC Satyagraha' has been organized by All India OBC Students Association (AIOBCSA) since December 24 morning at University of Hyderabad by demanding proper implementation of reservation policy in campus. AIOBCSA accuses the Vice Chancellor of "committing fraud against OBCs by denying and violating reservation policy and personally targeting students, non-teaching staff, and teaching faculty who are critical about his unjust policies".
However, in November this year the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) conducted a public hearing at the campus after there were several complaints received from OBC students in the University. Students demand sending the Action Taken Report to National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) on urgent category matters and also to implement the (NCBC) order dated 12th December 2020. NCBC has given 30 days' time frame for sending report on the Urgent Category matters.
While speaking with Madhyamam Gowd Kiran Kumar, AIOBCSA President said "This is the first time after Mandal Movement, an OBC organization is becoming conscious and raising OBC issues through a united struggle with OBC employees and OBC non-teaching staff. The Satyagraha is crucial in the background of the efforts by Government to undermine reservation policy and crucial in making education institutes more inclusive and diversified. The vision of Prime Minister Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Viswas actually should be reflected at the ground level and VCs shall take this vision serious'"
"We will go for peaceful indefinite hunger strike and also write to President of India, who is our visitor, Governor of Telangana our Rector, Ministry of Education and all Executive Members of University. Let our democratic and peaceful struggle bring change in the University Administration to make this campus inclusive and diversified," he further added.
AIOBCSA demands "the University to follow strictly the UGC Regulation, 2018 regarding the allocation of PhD seats to Professor, Associate Professor and Assistant Professor that is 8:6:4. They allege that some schools are strictly implementing this formula, some are not. Students demanded to have an academician who has concerns and command over OBC issues as a Liaison Officer similar to anti-discriminatory, equal opportunities, GS-CASH (ICC) and SC/ST cell.
Students who are on 'OBC Satyagraha' also raise some non- teaching demands like "Immediate withdrawal of memos and show cause notices issued to the office bearers of staff union and OBC employees, especially who participated in protest against the administration.
Awarding of first promotion as Junior Officer Assistants to the 19 employees, as a one time measure, as considered to "earlier and Immediate formation of OBC grievance cell to solve OBC employees issues".
When Madhyamam contacted Professor Venkatesu, Vice President of elected teachers association (University of Hyderabad Teachers Association-UHTA) in Hyderabad University said "the ongoing protest by OBC students in the campus is very necessary for all the marginalized students in India. It is democratic and constitutional. Reservations have not been implemented properly since decades. From IMPRESS project by ICSSR, hardly 5% of OBCs are getting benefited, they have violated implementing 27% of reservation here".
The Professor spoke about the discrimination faced by OBC students in admission and faculty recruitment in UoH. "There is a sort of heavy discrimination in recruiting as well as in admission process. And also, deliberate negligence of OBCs in recruitment in educational institutions across the country. The serious issue is the already allotted 27% for OBCs is not reflected in admission and recruiting procedures. Therefore, to rectify the issues of OBC at administration level now the students are fighting for the cause. This protest by students is lying within constitutional framework". he said.
Recently Students Union of University had protested against the irregularities in MPhil, PhD admission in campus. However, OBC student groups said, "Our voices are oppressed in University space, there is a need to speak out against this discrimination towards OBC students by ourselves in campus".
Meanwhile University administration has promised to hold meetings with protesting OBC students on Monday in the matters of their concern. AIOBCSA plans to continue the protest if the demands are not met.
Other groups like Elected Non-Teaching Staff Union, OBC Employees Association and University of Hyderabad Teachers Association (UHTA) in Hyderabad University also have extended their support to students.