New Delhi: In a major relief to students, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has appealed to all technical education institutions to not charge fee from students until the nationwide lockdown is lifted. It has also asked these institutions to not hike the fee for academic session 2020-21.
The central government’s regulatory body for technical education institutions has made these appeals in two separate letters over the last month.
In the first appeal made on 15 April, the AICTE said, “it is clarified that colleges/institutions should not insist on payment of fee till the time lockdown is lifted and normalcy is restored”. The letter also instructed institutions to not hike the fee. It also asked them to communicate the information to students through email or display it on their official website.
The second letter was sent out on 1 May, specifically aimed at standalone institutions, after complaints emerged that they were trying to raise the fee.
Standalone institutions are neither universities nor affiliated to one. They are autonomous institutions that have the approval to offer selected courses.
The AICTE letter sent to standalone post graduate diploma in management institutions read: “The institutions shall not hike the admission fee or other fee for the academic year 2020-21 and also should not force selected candidates to pay advance fee during lockdown.”
HRD Ministry appeals too
The second appeal from AICTE came shortly after the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) reached out to states and Union Territories, asking them to appeal to technical institutes to not hike the fee.
In a letter written to all states and UTs on 29 April, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare had said, “Along with an unprecedented human toll, Covid-19 has triggered a deep economic crisis impacting all strata of society. Therefore to guard the best interests of students, I request you to send an appeal to all technical institutions including private technical institutions in your state/UT to avoid any hike in admission fee or other fee during the academic sessions 2020-21.”
This appeal was made after the government received complaints about various technical institutions asking students to pay the fee during the lockdown period.
Meanwhile, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has also appealed to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) to not hike their fee this year. He announced this during his live interaction with students on 5 May.
Responding to a query on fee hike, the minister had said, “I had asked the (IIT) chairpersons to convey this to all the institute heads and directors and I hope this sentiment would be respected.”
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