Representational image of college students | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Representational image of college students | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: With Covid cases continuing to surge across the country, several higher educational institutions have resorted to online classes for its students. However, though classes are being held virtually, many colleges are demanding payment of full fees, which include infrastructural costs that the students are not currently accessing.

As a result, students from several of these colleges are now refusing to pay the entire fees.

Students from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) in Delhi, Delhi Technological University (DTU) and Dehradun-based University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) are among those who have raised this issue.

In India, schools and colleges have been shut since March, when the lockdown to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Even though several restrictions have been lifted under ‘Unlock 3’ initiated this month, educational institutions have been directed to remain shut till 31 August.

However, even tough uncertainty continues regarding the reopening of these institutes, some colleges have sent circulars asking students to clear their fees.


Also read: Indian colleges see spurt in applications as Covid forces students to ditch foreign plans


GGSIPU asks students to pay Rs 1 lakh per year

The Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (VIPS), affiliated to GGSIPU, sent a circular to its students demanding that they pay their complete fees, which could be  anywhere between Rs 85,000 and Rs 1 lakh per year, two weeks ago.

In protest, the students sent several emails to the Ministry of Education, the University Grant Commission (UGC), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia, demanding a reduction in the fees. The latest email was sent on 7 August.

The letter, accessed by ThePrint, read, “Amidst this grave pandemic, this fees (collection) is an unsympathetic and violent move towards the students and their families.”

Around 125 colleges are affiliated to GGSIPU, which comes under the Delhi government and has more than 1 lakh students.

According to Ankur Upreti, a student at VIPS, “The issue affects everyone in GGSIPU because the fee is almost the same everywhere.”

The letter also highlights the fact that students cannot physically access campuses or any of the infrastructure or equipment that is available in college, adding that it makes no sense for them to pay for these facilities.

Instead, the students have demanded that all ancillary costs be removed and only the tuition and exam fees charged for this semester.

An official from the university, who did not wish to be named, told ThePrint, “The Delhi State Fee Regulatory Committee is the body concerned for these things and we at the university cannot do anything.”

However, he added, “The demand is genuine and in such a grave economic situation, students and their families should be given some relief.”


Also read: BA, BCom, BSc students can do internship with graduation as UGC wants them to be job-ready


IIMC charging old fee for online-only semester  

Students at Delhi Technological University (DTU) have even been issued an ultimatum that they would not be allowed to sit for placements if they did not pay their fees.

Undergraduate students’ fees at DTU, who make up 80 per cent of the university’s student population, range from Rs 90,000 for BBA to Rs 1,90,000 for B.Tech.

According to a notice issued to them in late July, non-payment of fees will fetch a fine ranging from Rs 2,000 to 10,000 till 27 August.

Apurnendu Tripathi, president of the DTU wing of RSS-affiliate Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), told ThePrint, “The only activity right now is online classes for which all the expenses including laptop, electricity and the internet are borne by the students. Why should they pay anything other than the tuition and the exam fees?”

According to the university’s public relations officer Anoop Lather, it will not make much of a difference if only tuition and exam fees are collected from the students.

However, Tripathi said if the university only collects the tuition and exam fees, it will lead to a reduction of at least Rs 40,000 from the principle amount.

Even those colleges that have announced that they will be conducting an entire semester online are demanding regular fees.

The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), which comes under the Ministry of Information and Broadcast, announced that the first semester of all the two-semester postgraduate diploma courses will be conducted online.

A student, who has applied to the institute, said, “We will have to do everything online for a practical course like journalism. We won’t even be able to see the campus in the first semester. Why should we pay anything other than the tuition fees?”


Also read: HRD Ministry sets up panel to explore ways ensuring students pursue higher studies in India


UPES students’ online protest against high fees

Several students are also taking these demands online.

Students from the Dehradun-based University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) tweeted about the university’s exorbitant fees.

According to several tweets, the university is demanding almost Rs 2 lakh as fees for one semester.

The fear of fee hike is also palpable in universities that don’t have hefty fees.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University gets grants from the UGC and therefore has subsidised fees.

However, according to JNU Students Union president Aishe Ghosh, the university administration has taken a loan from the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) — a joint venture between the government and Canara Bank to finance educational institutions — and thus, there are fears it will lead to a fee hike.

The university had hiked the fees last year, which had led to a strong pushback by the JNUSU. Ghosh added that the union plans to protest again if any such hike is introduced.

According to a senior official in the Delhi education department, the maintenance of facilities and resources requires funds even if students are not using them.

ThePrint reached officials at the Ministry of Education and the UGC through text messages and calls for a comment but they did not respond. This report will be updated if any response is received.


Also read: DU has less than 5% OBC teachers & there’s no professor among them, Parliament panel finds


 

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15 Comments Share Your Views

15 COMMENTS

  1. I am a student of andhra loyola college during this difficult times my college wants me to pay full fees for online classes this not fair even for online class all money charges are paid by us and currently we are not using any college resources then why should I pay full fees

  2. I m student of nursing at acharya institute banglore. They are asking fee before session starts. If I won’t pay increase fine par day Rs.1000. They are giving so much pressure. There is number where I can complain about .And in this pandemic situation we all are not observing it .

  3. Same with Manipal Group (MEMG). The chairman is literally a Billionaire. No change in fees of 2,67,000.Even Final year students who will be in University for 4months (now online ) will be paying the same amount. #ManipalFeesFiasco on twitter

  4. this same thing is done by our college also which is IIITKOTA. It is taking about 100000/- fees for just 1 semester(nearly 3-4 months) and only just for online classes.This is the real condition of our country educationand its policies.

  5. Today’s college are all about the fees and status of them and not what the student go through or what the student is learning.. And in this pandemic situation we all are observing it very practically.

  6. I am a student of DITE, one of the 4 engg colleges in IPU. Here the fees being charged is 70000. The other 3 colleges have kept it low to 40k. If you think it is one of the best, no, it is not, but the other 3 are. It is not even known to the local people here, not even the passer-byers, not even the auto-wallas know about it. There is a LOT more to add, but I rest my case here.

  7. Colleges must not charge full fees. Many have started taking online classes on th basis of it they are charging full fees. Even for online classes all data charges also to be paid by us. So on what basis they are charging full fees. Except tuition fees they should ask fees for infrastructure and labs.
    Sometimes I think no education is not business in India. But because of this behavior I also accept education is just business in India whether it is cbse, ugc, aicte or whatever

  8. Even I have to pay the full fees for my post grad. I will not name it. Since these days implications come from every direction. And my fee runs into lacs and lacs of rupees. We did ask the course chair to consider it but they threw another theory of fixed costs and high subsidisation of education for us.

  9. Education being the most essential service become the non essential in this pandemic and we , students are forced to study online leaving no other option.
    Either open the College and schools and risk our life or reduce the fees, why we pay an extra amount for online classes where both teachers and students have the facility to interact online.

    Government should step in at the earliest. My college (affiliated to GGSIPU )has also give ultimatum to pay fees at the earliest otherwise no password will be given, also charge fine for late fee.

  10. I am also a student of VIPS and all our concerns are falling on deaf ears. Its is sad that education isa just business these days. Government should step in and do something about it.

  11. Government should step in and end this tyranny regime of educational institutions. Teachers and students are attending classes on their own expenses. Either college should provide internet connection to everyone at their home or reduce the same amount from their fees.
    Paying full fees for the resources not being used and then paying extra for internet services is not justified.
    Students had already payed full fees for last semester when when more than half of the semester went online, now paying again full fees for another online semester when most of us are in financial crisis is not right.

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