As announced earlier,PhD scholars of the University of Pune (UoP) started their Bheekh Maango (begging for alms) Aandolan on Monday in protest against non-payment of their stipend for two years now.
As many as 50 students protested outside the Board of Colleges and University Development (BCUD) building even as the BCUD director said it was unfair of students to protest as the matter was being looked into by a committee.
While they are supposed to get a monthly stipend,they have been given nothing since their admission in 2010. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had amended PhD stipend rules in 2009.
One of the students said,The university officials are making us run from pillar to post. Initially,we were told we will be given stipend for a year. However,there are so many of us who have been here since 2010. It is unfair to give us the amount only for a year.
Another student said,The university receives crores for paying PhD students. However,the varsity is not using the amount. We spoke to different officials repeatedly and since that did not help,we started this protest.
Wasudev Gade,director,BCUD said,We are ready to provide them with a stipend for a year. Since they said they wanted the amount for two years,we formed a committee to look into the matter. We need to follow procedure in such matters. We have never said we wont pay heed to their demands. We just need some time.