Imphal: In relation to today’s One Day National Dialogue on Tribal Heroes in India’s Freedom Struggle organized by National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) held at the Centenary Hall of Manipur University, Canchipur, the Manipur University Tribal Students’ Union (MUTSU) while sharing grievances and hardships faced by Schedule Tribes (ST) students in Manipur University submitted a memorandum to the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
The memorandum signed by its president Bowang Kho and general secretary Robert Touthang placed two main issues faced by the tribal students in MU, which, it said required necessary and immediate actions.
Manipur University Tribal Students’ Union proposed for a Hostel Accommodation exclusively for tribal students in MU since the current arrangement only accommodates a small percentage of tribal students. Explaining the economical and social disadvantage group status, the memorandum pointed out the unaffordable cost and other hardships faced by tribal students, particularly the safety and security of girls, since there have been a number of reports and cases of groping and molestation in the past. “We, therefore, request your good office to take necessary steps to make hostel accommodation mandatory for all the tribal students who are admitted in various courses in the University. In this regard, increase in the number of hostels and allocation of more hostels for tribal students is necessary,” the memorandum urged.
Considering the immense financial hardship faced by the underprivileged tribal students who cannot afford to go outside of Manipur for studies and the sheer number of tribal students estimated at around 5000, who complete undergraduate courses every academic year, as against the meager 20% lot who receive accommodated in Manipur University, MUTSU in this regard proposed for establishment of at least three Hill Campuses of Manipur University. It argued in the memorandum that while establishing the Hill Campuses will cater to the needy tribal students, it will at the same time aid in realising the vision of the Government of India to create a strong and vibrant nation under the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
While speaking to a research scholar in Manipur University at the sidelines of today’s function, the scholar expressly pointed out the hardships of hostel accommodation since the University authority refused or refuses to provide necessary accommodation for even a Pre-PhD candidates despite the fact that several of them completed their final registration. “If this is the case with PhD scholars, we can only imagine the situation of UG/PG students,” the scholar stressed.
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