HYDERABAD, Telangana, October 18, 2023: The Students Islamic Organization of Telangana (SIO Telangana) has issued a student manifesto in preparation for the Telangana State Assembly elections. The launch event took place at the Hyderabad Press Club and was attended by the Telangana State Leadership of SIO Telangana. Present at the launch were the President of SIO Telangana, Abdul Hafeez; State General Secretary, Mohammed Faraz; Organizational Secretary, Maulana Wasiullah; Public Relations Secretary, Musaib Abdul Rahman; Media Secretary, Muaz Hyder Quraishi; and Campus Secretary, Umar Shahroz.
This initiative was also mirrored by the district leadership across the state. Almost all the districts in Telangana have launched the manifesto and met with lawmakers such as Telangana Congress Manifesto Committee Chairman Mr. Sridhar Babu, Dasyam Vinay Bhaskar (Member of Legislative Assembly and Government Chief Whip of the Telangana State Legislative Assembly), and Nannapaneni Narender, MLA of Warangal East. They submitted the manifesto and organized simultaneous roundtable meetings to discuss its contents in other districts.
The student manifesto highlights the gaps and issues faced by students and youth in the state of Telangana, particularly in the fields of education and employment. It addresses the decline in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) and calls for a separate structure for Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions (TMREIS).
The manifesto also demands the filling of vacancies in state universities, highlights teacher shortages, scholarship and fee reimbursement issues, and draws attention to the rising suicide rates due to drug addiction and unemployment.
It further emphasizes the issue of Muslim reservations, the demand for the reinstatement of state union elections, and the necessity to focus on backward districts and address digital privacy concerns.
During the press conference, SIO leaders also underlined the ongoing struggle of the organisation, which has been advocating for equity, access, and quality in the field of education, especially in the educational advancement of minorities and backward classes since its inception.
Speaking to the media, Abdul Hafeez, State President of SIO Telangana, expressed concern about the critical state of education in the region. He pointed out that the education budget in the state has been consistently decreasing, leading to the deterioration of educational institutions.
SIO’s demand, in line with the recommendations of the Kothari Commission, is for the government to allocate 30% of the budget to education. Hafeez stated, “Telangana has witnessed a consistent decline in budgetary allocation for education, dropping from 10.89% in 2014-15 to 6.24% in 2022-23. The state consistently allocates less than the 15% average allocated by other states. Prior to the division in 2014, united Andhra Pradesh, on average, allocated 14% of the budget to the education sector. The state clearly fails to comply with the recommendations of the Kothari Commission.”
The district leadership of SIO will also launch the manifesto in press conferences and meet with lawmakers to submit the manifesto.
State General Secretary, Mohammed Faraz Ahmed, focused on the issues faced by students, particularly highlighting scholarship issues, DSC Urdu Medium, and TMREIS. Faraz explained, “The manifesto also addresses the problem of minority scholarships. Many students struggle to obtain certificates from educational institutions due to delayed scholarship disbursements, forcing them to take out loans to pay their fees. SIO demands that the government promptly settle these arrears and streamline the scholarship process.”
The manifesto also highlights the injustices faced by DSC Urdu Medium students and demands that the government de-reserve these seats to fill the vacant positions, including all Urdu Medium seats in DSC-2023, Faraz added.
Furthermore, the manifesto addresses the future of TMREIS, emphasizing the need for the government to allocate a dedicated budget to secure its future, designating it as a “sub-plan” rather than a minority budget and constructing its buildings on Waqf Board land.
Abdul Rahman, PR Secretary, highlighted issues related to privacy and student politics in state universities. He stated, “The manifesto emphasizes the importance of protecting individuals’ privacy, whether in the digital sphere or otherwise. It firmly states that no state authority should have the jurisdiction to monitor, collect, or share information related to private citizens without a legally valid cause and due process of the law. Additionally, it addresses the problem of abandoned properties within educational institutions in the state, calling for their immediate utilization.”
The manifesto also discusses student politics within state universities, noting that it has been inactive for a prolonged period due to the absence of youth leadership. The manifesto calls for the government to promptly reinstate student elections in accordance with the recommendations of the Lyngdoh Commission.