Ahead of their semester-end exams, scheduled to start in less than a fortnight, students claimed that at least 20 of them have tested positive for dengue, while many more suffered bouts of viral fever.
The decision did not go down well with a section of the student community, which staged a protest and even went on a two-day hunger strike, forcing the college administration to defend its decision and promise to support students from underprivileged backgrounds.
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According to the students, the college administration has turned a blind eye to the sufferings of students coming from drought-hit areas by refusing to give them relief in various fees, even after the Pune University issued circulars to the effect.
The college, run by the Deccan Education Society and established by stalwarts like Lokmanya Tilak and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, had earlier received the nod from the University Grants Commission for the new tag.
A section of the staffers, present during the protest, said the college was being “targeted” by people with vested political interest. A similar puja was also underway at Modern College on the same day, but it was completed peacefully.
A group of 40 media students from the Bachelor of Vocation (B.Voc) course all went for the movie on the day it was released, and they have now taken it upon themselves to encourage others to watch Kaasav, which in their view has great content but suffers due to lack of support from major producers and distributors.