Students of the Human Rights department at Panjab University, protesting against the ‘extra charges’ being levied under ‘maintenance’ and other heads, recently resorted to boycotting their classes.
The university is charging Rs 8,500 additionally over the tuition fee.
The students also raised their voice against the five per cent fee concession which was offered by the Panjab University authorities in view of Covid-19, Friday.
The varsity’s second year MA students at Centre for Human Rights and Duties Department, began the boycott of online classes on September 2, after the two e-mails they wrote to the Vice-Chancellor did not gather any response.
“We wrote mails to the VC since none of us are in Chandigarh to protest for our rights. The five per cent concession has given us no respite. Only a small amount of Rs 1,500 has been reduced from the total fee amount of almost Rs 39,000. After concession the fee has come down to Rs 37,800,” said a student of the department, on the condition of anonymity.
In the e-mail addressed to the Vice Chancellor of university, the batch of 35 students, wrote “We request you to waive off the extra charges in our fees charged under ‘Maintenance and Other User Charges’ and ‘Contribution to Funds’. Our university is among few in this country which still gives space to those who cannot normally afford education. Unfortunately, our administration has completely ignored the fact and we are now being charged an all-inclusive fee along with extra charges.”
It further read, “The administration must realise that the whole world is facing one of the worst health and financial crisis ever. Then why is our university adamant on charging full fees especially when students are not utilising the building or the campus. Also, there is no relaxation in the fees owing that such hardships are being faced by the students. Instead it is our parents’ hard-earned money from which we are accessing online education safe at our homes.”
The student also cited a UGC circular dated May 27 in the e-mail, which has requested universities to consider the matter of annual/semester fee, tuition fee, examination fee, etc. sympathetically in view of the prevailing extraordinary difficult circumstances.
“As students of Human Rights, we also request you to constitute some plans for students whose parents lost jobs or suffered losses due to the pandemic and cannot afford to pay fees and to access the internet properly, for the right to education as well as right to access to internet are our human rights,” the mail further read.
Students say that they will continue to boycott classes until their grievances are addressed.
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