Visva-Bharati Students Boycott Exam and Demand Hostel Immediately – Edexlive

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Students at the University of Visva-Bharati boycotted the semester exams which were due to start on March 11 and demanded the immediate reopening of hostels. They said many students come from remote areas across the country and some are even foreign students – if hostels are not made available to them, they cannot take the exams as accommodation elsewhere is very expensive.

The VBU campus has seen massive student protests over the past few months. Students had been protesting against the reopening of hostels for over a month and the university did not move until the recent order of the High Court in Calcutta forced them to do so, the problem now seems to be the timing. The court said hostels must reopen as soon as possible for students who have exams around the corner.

While exams start from March 11, the deadline for submitting forms for hostel accommodation is March 17. “We are boycotting the exams because a lot of our friends will have to skip this exam because they can’t find affordable accommodation here. They will have to settle the backlog of those papers later. It’s not fair,” said Somenath Sow, Head of Unit of Student Federation of India (SFI) of VBU He clarified that this boycott and the ongoing sit-in is being organized by the general students of VBU and not under any political banner.

VBU Vice-Chancellor Dr Bidyut Chakrabarty sparked another controversy when he said protesting students were accompanied by “strangers”. Somenath said only those with IDs are allowed entry by VBU guards. “If the authority gave identity cards to foreigners, that’s another problem,” he added.

VBU officials said that it takes minimal time to get the parts into shape and this is the fastest turnaround time that can be expected. “We are inviting applications for a week and will be ready with rooms as soon as possible,” an official said. The notice from the invigilator’s office stated: “Visva-Bharati, invites applications from bona fide and interested students of the undergraduate program and semester I of the postgraduate program who wish to reside in the hostels of the university on a priority basis following the Honorable Judge’s decision of the Calcutta High Court,” the notice reads. “Rooms will be allocated after they have been made habitable for occupancy: this includes repairs and/or replacement, in particular of electrical/electrical installations, toilets, water and drinking water systems, etc. in the rooms. hostels,” he added.

The Calcutta HC, in its order, had specifically stated that priority for the occupancy of hostels should be given to students in terms of examination timetables. The VBU said rooms will be allocated to “select student boarders based on university rules of academic merit and distance from home”.


Linda G. Ibarra