SU students launch pen-down protest 'Mission Campus'

GANGTOK, 19 Apr:

Students of Sikkim University pen down strike to protest the abnormal delay in the construction of the university campus at Yangang. Around 3000 students staged the protest in front of their respective departments questioning the SU authorities on the delay.

The ‘Mission Campus’ pen-down protest led by Sikkim University Student’s Association [SUSA] had the participation of SUSA executive members and students from all 32 departments of the university.

SUSA president, Lalit Pokhrel Sharma said that even after eleven years of its establishment, Sikkim University still does not have a proper campus.

The students have to pay extra taxi fare to visit library from their respective classes, there is not enough space for classrooms, play field, proper labs, exam centre, etc, said the Treasurer of SUSA, Govinda Chettri.

“The main aim of the pen-down protest is to ensure that future generations do not suffer like us,” said Lalit.

"The Finance Committee of the University is not able to hold a meeting as two of its members are currently out of station. What kind of system is this? The Finance Committee has an important role in the University's affairs. We shall carry out the protest in a phase-wise manner until our cry for the completion of the permanent campus is not heard," said Govinda.

The University is currently running out of rented accommodation spread across Gangtok. The permanent campus is coming up at Yangang village in East Sikkim covering almost 340 acres.

The students said they will submit a memorandum to the Vice Chancellor on Friday.

"The demand of the students is legitimate; the university has rented almost forty buildings the rent of which comes to nearly Rs 6 crore annually. Everyone is facing problems in the University," said the Acting Vice Chancellor, Jyoti Prakash Tamang.

He further added, "We are pursuing the matter at all the forums in the Ministry of Human Resource Development Department, UGC. Also a letter has been submitted to the Minister of State MHRD Dr Satyapal Singh in January this year."

The University has so far received only Rs 110 crore under the first phase of construction which includes academic building, administrative building and hostel. The total estimated fund for the project is around Rs 1640 crore.