Research students of Malayalam University launches strike demanding fellowship

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MALAPPURAM: Demanding distribution of fellowships to research students, Students Federation of India (SFI) launched strike on Thunjathezhithachan Malayalam University campus in Tirur on Wednesday night.

The protesters are alleging that the distribution of stipend to PhD and Mphil students was stopped four months ago and the university authorities are turning blind eye to the demand to reinstate the fellowship.

Musammil K, vice president of SFI’ s district committee, who is also syndicate member of University said that student researchers- most of them are from poor economic background- are struggling to continue their studies as University has stopped the stipend distribution to 11 PhD students and 21 Mphil. Students months ago. “Students are planning to drop their research activities as they are unable to meet expenses of food and hostel fees. University authorities should take immediate steps to distribute at least a portion of the pending amount as an immediate relief for students”, he said.

Musammil said that lack of own fund for the University is the main reason for the issue and the government should find a permanent solution for the issue as the promotion of research activities should get priority in a University campus. It is learnt that University is reeling under financial crunch after the recent purchase of land to set up permanent campus for the university at Vettam panchayat.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University Anil Vallathol also has agreed that the lack of University fund was the reason for the delay in the distribution of fellowship. “We have already brought the issue into the notice of government. We are expecting a favourable decision from the part of authorities in the coming days”, he said.

VC also said that he will hold discussion with the students who are striking on the campus. “We can promise them that University will re-instate at least a portion of the fellowship if government takes a positive decision to allot fund,” he said.

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