The Panjab University on Sunday approved a fee hike of 5 per cent for all courses of the varsity from the session 2015-16, starting July this year. The decision was taken at a Senate meeting held under the chairmanship of Vice- Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover.
The hike would translate into a minimum increase of Rs 500 and the maximum increase of Rs 1,200 in the annual fee for various courses. With this, the university is likely to get a revenue of around Rs 1.6 crore, out of which it plans to spend Rs 80 lakh on providing scholarships and free education to students from the economically weaker section.
The fee hike was opposed by many Senate members, including Additional Solicitor General of India in the Punjab and Haryana High Court Satya Pal Jain, former MP Pawan Bansal, members Ashok Goyal, Harmohinder Singh Lucky and G K Chatrath.
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Jain and Bansal criticised the decision of fee hike and suggested that the university should rather think of ways to cut down the expenses on the campus, and should explore collecting more grants, funds and also curtail certain items. “This item should be withdrawn from the agenda item or the House reject it,” said Jain.
“With the proposed increase, university would not go beyond Rs 1.50 crore and the entire money will have to be spent on the economically weaker section students, then how will the university manage to meet the deficit?” asked Goyal.
However, the V-C said that to satisfy the government-funded agencies, the university needed to enhance the revenue but with a condition that the enhanced portion would be distributed among poor students on the campus. “Other Central universities increase the fee on an annual basis. That is why we also need to increase fee, and increasing our fee by 5 per cent after six years is a notional response to the Central universities,” he added.
Besides the fee hike, another important issue which had come up for the final approval was the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS). But Grover said, “It is difficult to implement the system in proper terms, from the forthcoming session but we can approve it in principle and on a pilot basis, we can pick up two departments to start with.”
Former PU vice-chancellor R P Bhamba too said that the university should not be in a hurry to implement this new system and should only start it after proper consideration by the faculties.