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GU students demand more seats
- Union on indefinite strike

Guwahati; July 26: The students of Post Graduate Students’ Union (PGSU) of Gauhati University today began an indefinite strike demanding an increase in the number of seats in different post-graduate courses.

In a makeshift shed put up in front of the university’s administrative building, the union members decided to pass the night protesting and continue till the university promised them to increase 10 per cent seats in various post-graduate courses and turn all paid seats to general ones.

Source said Gauhati University had 152 paid seats in 23 different departments and a student could pay from Rs 25,000 to Rs 92,000 for one seat. But the university cancelled these paid seats following protests from the students.

The source said the paying seats helped the university generate some revenue. The union demanded that instead of cancelling these seats, they should be converted into general seats.

The union yesterday submitted a memorandum to vice-chancellor Okhil Kumar Medhi seeking a solution to the problem of seats by 1pm today. “As we did not get a proper solution we have decided to start the indefinite strike,” said Sanju Baruah, the general secretary of the union.

The union said the departments of the university needed more seats considering the growing number of students every year. “We think the university is in a position to increase the number of seats as its infrastructure has improved over the year,” Himangshu Medhi, the vice-president of the union. Vice-chancellor Medhi said they were discussing the issue and the admission committee would take a decision in this regard.

The source said the heads of different departments of the university would meet tomorrow to discuss the issue.

“There is a possibility of increasing the number of seats in different departments. But sections of teachers are against it because of shortage of teachers in the university. Many teachers’ posts are lying vacant,” the source added.

“Of late, the university has introduced new courses. But the government has not sanctioned new teachers’ posts for which pressure on the existing ones is increasing every year.”