Retain mess subsidy, say protesting IISc. students

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A proposal to scrap institutional subsidy to canteens and messes at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) has students worried that this would severely effect their limited scholarships and stipends. Hundreds of students protested at the campus on Thursday.

In a memorandum submitted to the IISc director, students said: “On an average, 20 to 60 per cent of the students’ stipend (depending on the courses they are enrolled in) is used up to meet the monthly mess bill alone. It will reach 25 to 80 per cent, if the mess subsidy is scrapped.”

By revoking IISc’s financial assistance to the mess, which includes payment of daily wages to mess workers, the responsibility (of around Rs. 16 lakhs) will fall on the student community, a student from the ecological sciences department told The Hindu. Students can not afford any increase in mess expenses with their current stipends and scholarships which range from Rs. 5,000 (for an undergraduate student) to Rs. 8000 (for a Master’s student) and 16000 (for a PhD), the student added.

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