The students of NIPER are on an indefinite hungers strike to due to the inaction on the part of the NIPER administration to fulfill their demands. Despite very vocal protests, by the students, outside the director’s house on the night of 22nd of April, 2013, the director has not interacted with the protesting students. Instead he requested police intervention into the matter and, currently, there is a heavy police presence inside the campus of NIPER. The administration has barred the entry of media-persons into the campus, denying them entry at the gate. One student, who had been on hunger strike, has been rushed to the hospital due to exhaustion. The students have been trying to contact the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dr. VM Katoch, but to no avail. There has been no response either from the Ministry or the BOG. The students also met with the faculty to re-iterate their demands, but nothing came out of it. Having exhausted all available options the students have decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike, as their last resort, until their demands are met.
The students continued to block entry into the secretariat and the administrative blocks thereby preventing everyday functioning of the institute. The students proceeded to demonstrate in front of the acting director, Dr. Saranjit Singh’s office. Under pressure, Dr. Saranjit Singh gave it in writing that he will not come to work from tomorrow, 23rd of April, 2013. The students also requested all faculty members to sign on a petition demanding Dr. K.K Bhutani’s resignation. Following Dr. Saranjit Singh’s resignation, the students assembled in front of the officiating director, Dr. K.K. Bhutani’s house inside the campus, requesting him to address the students and explain his silence.
On fourth day of strike i.e. 18th APRIL, 2013 we students have continued our protest. None of the ministry or BOG members has responded to our plea. We students have decided to continue our strike till all major demands are met. The students blocked entry into the secretariat and the administrative blocks, barring entry of the director, registrar and the administrative personnel’s. The Acting Director and the faculty made a plea to the students to call off the strike, but offered no resolution of the demands of the students. The students also expressed their concerns to the other authorities of other NIPER’s, who were in Chandigarh for the NIPER-JEE meet. Due to this failure of the administration to act and to forward our demands to higher authorities, the students have decided to continue their strike and burn an effigy of the Officiating Director to register their protest and reiterate their demands.
Due to the failure of the NIPER administration to fulfill the demands put forth by the students of NIPER, in a time-bound manner, the students have decided to resume their indefinite strike from Monday. The students have refused to sign on the muster till representatives from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers arrives. The students of NIPER have been facing difficulties for the past three years. They have taken up various issues at a lower level, but response from the faculty and director has been discouraging. Prime issues concerning student’s welfare and NIPER development were sidelined.
At the end of 15 day period none of the assured outcomes were palpable. Rather than accepting accountability of the concerned issues, NIPER AUTHORITY and implementation committee (Constituted by Director, NIPER and made up of several senior faculty members) started blaming each other. So students feel duped by NIPER authorities and had decided to resume their protest for indefinite time starting from Monday 15th April, 2013 with principle issues of student welfare and NIPER development.
Other than administrative issues, students where mainly concerned for their personal student welfare issues. Such as
1. No permanent DIRECTOR: Appointment of regular director at NIPER: Removal of officiating director. NIPER needs regular director for proper administration. Post was advertised many times nearly in the past three years and interviews for regular director were held in Dec. 2012 but results are not declared till date, which allowed mismanagement in administration at the cost of student’s future.
2. NIPER Degree recognition: Being a top most pharmaceutical research institute in INDIA and having top most qualified faculties with well-structured course still NIPER’s awarded M.S (Pharm.) degree is not recognized by UGC (University Grant Commission). Students face problem when they want to take academic job on the basis of their M.S (Pharm.) degree because all these academic institutes follow PCI norms of accepting recognized degree.
3. Placement: Being National Institute and Institute of National Importance NIPER placement ratio is 10-20%, which is decreasing every year. Students after passing all entrance exams and getting well trained throughout their course; still their future is skeptical. NIPER administration is duly responsible for such a pathetic situation of student’s career.
4. Appointment of dedicated placement officers (Very bad placement record, no dedicated person, no one cares for STUDENTS careers. very casual and irresponsible attitude of NIPER administration. all students paying placement fee but it is being bungled like other funds. No full-fledged placement officers for MBA, MS and Ph.D students appointed till date.
5. PROVISION OF STIPEND/FELLOWSHIP TO M.B.A. (Pharm) STUDENTS :
· The students of M.B.A. (Pharm) get admitted through the same channel as M.S. (Pharm) students i.e. GPAT followed by NIPER-JEE, still no stipend/fellowship is being provided, despite the fact that these are the sole eligibility criteria for providing stipend/fellowship to NIPER students.
· It is very unfortunate that this issue has never ever been raised in any of the B.O.G. meetings held till date.
· NIPER is distinguished from other B Schools as it does not admit students on the basis of any management aptitude tests like CAT, MAT, XAT etc for course of M.B.A. (Pharm).
6. FEES REDUCTION IS REQUIRED FOR M.B.A. (Pharm) and STUDENTS :
2.68 Lac fees per student are the highest fees for any course in NIPER, even though the department of Pharmaceutical Management requires less expenditure as compared to other departments.
7. Hostel Facilities: NIPER has consistently increased no. of seats over past few consecutive years but parallel growth in infrastructure is paralyzed. Ministry has sanctioned fund for increasing infrastructure in 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012). Even after availability of sanctioned fund no. ground level development has been done. Despite of all these students are facing the problem related to hostel facilities such as many girls have been sharing the room, no bedding was available for past 6 months, so they had to sleep on the floor even in the extreme winter conditions (temp. less than 5 degrees). These pathetic living conditions have affected their studies and research activities.
8. Faculties’ student ratio: Constantly declining faculties’ student ratio (currently 26:1). Only 36 faculties are currently employed where the actual requirement is of 81. No concomitant increase in faculty recruitment with respect to increase in no. of students. NIPER administration gets proper funds from Ministry on per student basis and fee is also collected from students. However, NIPER neither recruits new faculty as per optimum student: teacher ratio nor ensures proper placement. Large scale corruption is taking place at NIPER, affecting development of an institute of national importance and careers of students.
New faculties which will be recruited in the future must be of high standards as that of IIT’S norms to maintain the standard of this premier institute. Since the beginning of the NIPER there are still some departments such as Pharmaceutical analysis, Pharmacy Practice, Pharmaceutical technology biotechnology which is run by only a single faculty and headed by themselves and not allowing any new eligible candidate to enter in their respective departments.
9. Poor Medical facilities No doctor and paramedical staff is available in the institute although the number of students increased drastically every year and students has to face the problem in the emergency to have a medical help.
Research funding should be released in a timely manner by the NIPER administration.
FEE HIKE: CSIR, DBT, DST and ICMR institutes have very nominal fees for research students, but comparatively NIPER fees structure is very high.
Improvement of internet facilities in Hostel (no internet connectivity, though NIPER took FUND from ministry for improvement of computer facilities)
There were several other issues (total 30) which were of direct concern to NIPER development and student welfare and raised in front of the authorities. The movement was put on hold on grounds of written assurance by NIPER authorities that demands will be fulfilled in time bound manner within 15 days (From 1st April, 2013 to 15th April, 2013).
During this past 15 days DIRECTOR made various committees to resolve several issues. All the meetings were held between concerned committee members but none of the suggestions were implemented on action. The students face extreme frustration due to this inefficiency showed by the NIPER administration and the Officiating DIRECTOR, Dr. K. K. Bhutani. The files stop at DIRECTORS table and the students think he should assume all the responsibilities for this inefficiency.
If no representatives or message arrives from the Ministry, till tomorrow, the students of NIPER threaten to go on a hunger strike. Fed-up by the lackadaisical attitude of NIPER administration, the students do not wish to indulge in any dialogue with the NIPER authorities