With Delhi University taking the process of fee payment completely online, some students who do not have debit cards or netbanking facilities have complained that cyber cafes around colleges are fleecing them. For instance, a cyber cafe in south Delhi has been charging “10 per cent extra” from students who seek its help in making the payment. Abhinav Soni, who had come to Ramanujan College on Monday to get his sister admitted to the Non Collegiate Women’s Education Board, was among those who allegedly had to pay extra.
“After coming to college, I was told we have to make fee payment online. I had brought cash with me. With no computer at home, I headed to a cyber cafe close to the college, so I would be nearby if any payment problem arose. But the cyber cafe charged me an extra 10 per cent. I gave them Rs 3,300, which was the college fee, and Rs 330 on top of it,” Soni, son of a vegetable vendor, said.
With several colleges lacking an arrangement to allow aspirants to access computers, students from rural or remote areas have no option but to rely on such cyber cafes. The university had earlier asked colleges to open their computer centres, so students can make use of the facility. “Whether the amount is big or small, 10 per cent of the fee is being charged from students. Imagine someone paying a fee of Rs 11,000 and the student being charged 10 per cent. Many students have come and complained to me about this. Cyber cafes are also charging varying rates for printouts,” said a teacher at Ramanujan College.
The teacher said that some cyber cafes mushroom around colleges only during admission season so they can make easy money. The principal of the college, S P Agarwal, said the computer centre in his college is open to students, who are also allowed to take printouts. “I cannot do anything about students not being able to pay fee because they do not have netbanking. It is the university and the government’s decision to go for digital payment, we just have to comply with the orders,” said Agarwal.
He added that he cannot regulate what happens outside the campus gates. However, a senior university official said, “There are many colleges that are helping those students who are unable to
pay fees. Others should also facilitate this.”