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Karnataka: Students, activists stage protest to ‘save UVCE’

March 30, 2023

Several students and students’ rights activists of the University of Visvesvaraya College of Engineering staged a protest at Freedom Park demanding that UVCE be saved.

Organised by the AIDSO Bengaluru District Committee at Freedom Park students joined the ‘Save UVCE’ campaign. Stakeholders expressed their displeasure over the recent state government decisions which they said, instead of taking the college to further development, was plunging it into a crisis.

State Secretary Ajay Kamath said, “Developing UVCE College or making it an autonomous institution is not the topic of today’s discussion. However, our opposition today is against the government’s desire to gradually privatize the government college in the name of development and autonomy. The government has completely forgotten its responsibility by not providing funds to the college, not paying salaries to the lecturers, and not taking measures for overall educational development of the college. We students should not let the aspirations of the great revolutionaries and freedom fighters of the country be crushed. We should fight to save the UVCE college for the next generation.”

Abhaya Diwakar, another protester said, “Ever since the state government announced that UVCE would be made an autonomous institute, an ‘IIT like’ institute, the college has been facing one crisis after another.

“First, they said that they will make the college a self-financing (financially autonomous) institution. As a direct result of which there will be a huge increase in fees from the next academic year. Secondly, UVCE, which was an affiliate of Bangalore University, was separated from it. Now the government has not funded the management of the college. Bangalore University does not have the money to pay the staff of the college. So it has decided not to pay salaries from March. This decision has thrown the lives of thousands of teaching and non-teaching staff into crisis and uncertainty. Even the government has neither sanctioned funds to UVCE nor the Bangalore University to pay the staff salaries. These developments are of great anxiety and uncertainty about the future, among thousands of students and college staff.”

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