Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chamling frees students from all fees


Yangyang, 22 July: The college student protest in Gangtok was against a proposed fee hike, and the fee hike was rolled back on the first day of the protest itself [14 July, last Monday], Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today announced an even larger bonus declaring a 100% fee waiver.
The CM made this announcement at the inaugural function of a Multipurpose Hall cum 12 Room Building at Yangang Senior Secondary School here in South Sikkim today.
In his address, Mr. Chamling declared that the government shall provide free education up to college level and for those who have already paid, the fees shall be refunded. There will no caution money, admission fee or any other extra fee from now onwards, he announced.
Referring to the recent students’ agitation, the Chief Minister said that he was unaware of the fee hike scenario in the state when it happened as he was away in New Delhi occupied with official meetings with the Union Ministers.
The grievances of the students, he added, were addressed by the government with not only the fee hike rolled back on day one of the protests, but a one-man committee also instituted to enquire into the police action on students on 14 and 15 July.
Violence, he stressed, was not the solution, and rued that while the matter was being resolved within the State itself, a section opted to take the protest out of Sikkim and defame the State. This was unfortunate, he said, just as it was unfortunate that some “vested interests” managed to hijack the student protest and unleash violence and anarchy on Gangtok [last Wednesday].
“I can understand the sentiments of the students,” he reassured, adding that the purpose of education was no just to prepare students for a government job, but to make them self reliant and aware.
He condemned the disturbance caused and created in Gangtok last Wednesday and remarked that this act of negativity and aggression was uncalled for as HRDD had already rolled back the fee hike before the situation deteriorated.
He requested the students and the civil society to stay wary of the mechanizations of antisocial elements and their negativity.
Meanwhile, commenting on talk of mass transfer of teachers which is being projected as victimisation of Opposition sympathizers, Mr. Chamling said that being the longest serving Chief Minister and one of the seniormost politicians of the country, he will not resort to such cheap politics. He dismissed such talks as rumours, and while reiterating that he will not allow victimization transfers, also announced that he will not tolerate dereliction of duty either.
Also today, Mr. Chamling laid to rest speculations that his younger brother will be getting the SDF ticket for Rangang-Yangyang constituency which he has vacated. He said that he still stands by his commitment of not allowing his family members into active politics.

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