The fee committee of Panjab University on Friday recommended a fee hike of 5 per cent for all courses run on the campus from the next academic session, starting July.
The proposal will now be placed for discussion in the upcoming Syndicate meeting, expected later this month, and then sent to the Senate for the final approval.
The committee meeting started with an initial proposal of increasing the fee by 15 per cent. But, because of resistance from students’ representatives, the nod was finally given to a hike of 5 per cent.
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“It was necessary for the university to increase the fee, so after a lot of deliberation, the hike was accepted at 5 per cent,” said one of the committee members.
The university has not increased the fee of campus courses in the last six years. Proposals for fee hike in the last one year have run into resistance from student organisations.
It was decided that 50 per cent of the revenue generated from the fee increase would be used for student-related activities, fee concessions and scholarships to students from economically weaker sections. This demand was placed by student representatives Chandan Rana and Sunny Mehta, president and joint secretary of the PU Campus Student Council.
“The university will generate around Rs 1.5 crore from the proposed fee hike so, as decided in the meeting, Rs 75 lakh will be kept aside for student-related activities,” said Dean of Student Welfare Navdeep Goyal.
The fee committee was constituted by the Senate on March 22 on the suggestion of Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover. The decision was taken after a 27-day-long protest by students against a proposed fee hike of 20 per cent in regular courses and 10 per cent in self-financed courses.
Some time ago, a separate fee committee for affiliated colleges had recommended hike ranging from 5 to 20 per cent for various courses.
This proposal will also be placed before the Syndicate.
SOPU, SFS Protest
As the committee members made their way to the office of Dean of University Instruction A K Bhandari, who is head of the committee, the Students’ Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) and Students For Society (SFS) held protests outside the V-C office against any
Both organisations alleged that there was inadequate representation of students in the fee committee. “It was only the president and joint secretary of PUCSC who were present in the meeting, and both of them are from National Students’ Union of India,” said Rupinder Sharma, chairman of SOPU.
SFS president Arishdeep said, “The university authorities had promised us after the Senate meeting on March 22 that all student organisations would be given representation in the fee committee. This is important in order to represent larger interest of students.”
Both organisations submitted memorandums seeking re-constitution of the fee committee to the DSW.
SFS and SOPU had led the protest in March when the university proposed a fee hike from 15 to 20 per cent for various courses. The proposal was withdrawn in the Senate meeting of March 22 in view of the protests.