Puducherry students demand admission quota at central university

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Puducherry: More than hundreds students of the Pondicherry University took out a rally demanding one-fourth reservation for local residents of the Union Territory of Puducherry at the central institution. The apolitical rally was organised by a new outfit of PU students who are originally from Puducherry.

Students gathered under the banner of newly launched 'Educational Rights of Indigenous Pupils Movement' (ERIPM). The rally was held early in the morning from the main gate to administration block of the University

Students demanded 25% reservation for the original residents of Puducherry in all post-graduation courses at the Pondicherry University. The leaders of ERIPM had given a representation in this regard on January 14; however the University administration did not provide any positive response to students then, hence the rally was taken out pressing for the admission quota.

"We need 25% reservation. There is already provision for it in the University rules and the administration is supposed to implement it. University's stand on the issue is extremely illogical and unacceptable. We have decided to continue the protest" Selvi Nithya, a research scholar at the Social Work Department, told Onmanorama.

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A few years ago the academic and executive councils of PU had ratified a recommendation made by the Prof. Ramadoss panel to provide uniform reservation of 25% for locals in all the courses offered by Pondicherry University. But the grouse of the agitating students is that this proposal is yet to be implemented. Moreover, they point out the 50% admission quota at the National Institute of Technology at Karaikal and allocation of 25% of seats at JIPMER for Puducherry locals.

Nithya also revealed that ERIPM would intensify protests and take the campaign to the grass roots so that awareness on the need for reservation could be spread.

"Reservation is not at all granted to native students of Puducherry in a few departments of the Pondicherry University. In the early years of the University, administration had promised to give first preference to students from Puducherry. But nothing really worked. Local students must have preference even though Pondicherry University is a central institution," Deepan Saran Raj, an active member of ERIPM, told Onmanorama.

"Tamil students have been continuously raising their demands for 25% reservation in the last few years. But now all the associations have come together against the autocratic behaviour of administration. We will resist it," Raj further added.

He also noted that several local students are not keen to enroll in the University because of fee hike and reservation.

In the absence of Vice Chancellor, University Director addressed the protesters rally concluded.

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