PU set for major fee hike
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service Chandigarh, May 27
Panjab University is all set for a major fee hike on the campus and its affiliated colleges from the forthcoming academic session (2003-2004).A formal decision to this effect has been taken by a high-level committee, “in protest” against the Punjab Government’s fee hike decision. The committee was assigned the job by Prof K.N.Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, when the fee hike ordered by the Punjab Government was not accepted by the university Syndicate recently.
The Punjab Government, in a letter of the Director Public Instruction (Punjab) dated May 13, had communicated the revision of fees and funds being charged by government, aided and non-aided colleges and the state universities.
A student is now required to pay an admission fee of Rs 750 for undergraduate courses, Rs 1,000 for postgraduate courses and Rs 1,250 for M Phil and PhD courses. In addition, a student pays Rs 350 per month for undergraduate courses as tuition fee, Rs 550 per month for professional courses and Rs 650 per month for postgraduate courses.
This is as compared to the existing tuition fee of Rs 70 in the case of PU.
Students will also be required to pay enhanced amounts in the case of the amalgamated fund, annual charges, library, hostel charges, building construction, besides several others.
The committee members included Dr M.L.Anand, Principal Tarsem Bahia, Principal A.C.Vaid, Principal P.S.Sangha, Principal B.D.Budhiraja, Mr Rajinder Bhandari, Mr Mukesh Arora and Mr Ashok Sachdeva.
The committee’s decision, however, needs a final clearance of a sub-committee of the Syndicate.
The matter had figured in the university’s last Syndicate meeting. The university first decided to accept the fee hike in principle. Prof Charanjit Chawla, however, differed on the subject and wished to have his dissent recorded. Principal P.S.Sangha also showed his reservations against passing the fee hike. The university finally decided to reconsider the matter.
It was pointed out that the government needed to keep in mind that at least 70 per cent students came from rural colleges and that a majority of the colleges in Punjab would face problems on the likelihood of decrease in the student strength due to higher price for education.
The committee cleared the fee hike because colleges were dependent on the government for funds to support financial activities, which include salaries for the staff, had no option but to accept the dictates, a Principal said.
Principal A.C.Vaid pointed out that the fee in the university and affiliated colleges was not the prerogative of the government. The government had acted against the autonomy granted to educational institutes.
The committee also pointed out that the government had totally ignored the fact that a majority of the student strength in the affiliated colleges came from the rural background and it was economically not very well-placed.
The committee also suggested that the government should work out a differential fee structure. This would mean charging fee according to the financial status of the family of the student.
The committee has also allowed colleges to charge additional funds, as the need may be, under the supervision of the university. The need to revise the aid to colleges and the number of teaching posts as per the student strength was also highlighted today.
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