UOH plans to privatise mess facilities on campus
Chief Warden’s Office (CWO), University of Hyderabad, asserts that reports appearing in a section of the media that the university plans to privatise mess facilities on campus are speculative.
Gachibowli: Chief Warden’s Office (CWO), University of Hyderabad, asserts that reports appearing in a section of the media that the university plans to privatise mess facilities on campus are speculative.
On the contrary, the CWO has been constantly striving to strengthen existing processes, curb corruption, and improve the quality of services in the hostel messes, which are primarily student-run with the facilitation and support of the CWO.
Allegations by students that the quality of food in the mess facilities has been suffering due to inaction by the administration are untrue.
The quality of food provided in the mess facility depends on number of factors. The mess food needs to suit the tastes of students from 20 odd states. Students who volunteer as mess secretaries in different hostels, purchase raw materials from various sources leading to inconsistencies in terms of quality and, thereby the cooked food.
The CWO plans to hold consultations with student representatives and source material from one state/central supplying agency to ensure quality and uniformity.
The CWO has been constantly urging students to take active part in running the mess. We often find nobody coming forward to volunteer as mess secretaries. This has happened at least six times in the last year. This results in closure of the mess until someone volunteers.
Further, in the last year, the Wardens’ team have either detected false bills or prevented misuse of students’ monies by a few mess secretaries who used to run the mess.
Despite several advisories by the CWO and notifications by the Wardens’ offices, students do not actively participate in the affairs of the hostel.
During the recent Republic Day address, the Vice-Chancellor too had advised the student community to bracket ideological standpoints and come together to curb corruption among student volunteers who take up the position of mess secretary.
The existing process also allows for students to question and any false bills provided by the mess secretary, at a general body meeting of the hostel if the monthly basic is above normal. However, not many students even attend the hostel general body meeting that can fix such issues.
Even such responsibilities fall on the shoulders of the faculty members who volunteer to be Wardens, besides attending to their teaching, research and other quasi-administrative responsibilities.
The problem is compounded when students refuse to clear their mess dues monthly. The piling up of mess dues often runs into over Rs 1.5 crore, making it extremely difficult for the CWO to maintain the mess.
The CWO once again appeals to the entire student community residing in the hostels to actively participate in the affairs of the hostel and be vigilant about both quality of food and expenditure.