Students and faculty of Osmania University in Hyderabad are against setting up of private universities in Telangana.

Osmania University witnessed a complete boycott of classes on Thursday as student groups enforced a bandh in protest against the passage of the Telangana State Private Universities bill in the assembly a day earlier.

Both students and faculty members in the varsity are against the setting up of private universities in Telangana.

On Thursday, internal exams in some of the departments in the university had to be postponed because of the bandh.

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Manavta Roy, president, Telangana Unemployed Students Joint Action Committee, said that student bodies on the campus will intensify their protest against the bill in the coming days. “We are even going to invite Rahul Gandhi to participate in the protest and going to conduct a massive programme soon,” he added.

The bill allowing the setting up of private universities in the state was passed on Wednesday. On the same day, the Osmania University Teachers Association (OUTA) held a protest against the bill, in response to a call given by the Telangana State Federation of University Teachers’ Association. Faculty members burnt copies of the bill.

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The OUTA, in a statement, said that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government had promised (before coming to power in 2014) that it will establish government-run engineering colleges in every district, along with polytechnics. It added that while both student and teacher communities in the state were hoping that the TRS would deliver on its promises. Instead it “neglected higher education and universities with malicious intent”.

“In the 1990s we had government-aided colleges, where the salaries of teachers was paid by the government. But once private or self-financed colleges were introduced, the state began cutting down funds to these aided colleges. Similarly, it will also stop funding public universities in Telangana once private varsities are established,” said B. Satyanarayana, president, OUTA.

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The OUTA plans to hold more protests against the state government, Satyanarayana said.

Roy added that student groups will continue to agitate against the bill until it is withdrawn. #KhabarLive