Gujarat University Erupts in Protest: Students Cry Foul Over HPP Program

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Gujarat University Erupts in Protest: Students Cry Foul Over HPP Program

| Updated: February 3, 2024 16:37

Gujarat University Erupts in Protest: Students Cry Foul Over HPP Program

Ahmedabad, India: Gujarat University (GU) witnessed a tumultuous scene on Friday as student bodies from both BJP and Congress joined forces to protest against alleged shortcomings in the Higher Payment Program (HPP). Chanting slogans and demanding action, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and National Students Union of India (NSUI) raised concerns about faculty shortages and quality.

At the heart of the protest lie claims by students enrolled in 14 HPP courses. They allege a lack of teachers for four courses ever since the university took over the program from a private agency in December 2023. However, GU Vice-Chancellor Neerja Gupta refuted these claims, presenting a list of 74 faculty members and six Professors of Practice specifically recruited for the HPP.

Taking a surprising turn, the narrative shifted once Gupta presented evidence. Students initially complaining about teacher absence pivoted to concerns about “irregular faculty members” and their English language proficiency.

“We pay high fees for inadequate facilities and subpar faculty,” complained a student. “These teachers don’t even speak English, making it difficult for students from diverse backgrounds who don’t understand Gujarati or Hindi.”

Acknowledging the concerns, Gupta assured the students of potential portfolio sharing and English bridge courses. She attributed the protests to ousted faculty members, claiming they “benefited from student fees” in the previous management and are now “instigating unrest.”

The issue escalated further as Gupta alleged threats and accused private universities of “paying ousted faculty members to poach GU students” through a 25% commission scheme. While presenting “proof” for one such university, she emphasized the ongoing efforts to “clean up the system.”

With accusations flying from both sides, the situation at GU remains tense. Whether the university’s measures address student concerns or further ignite the flames of discontent remains to be seen.

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