Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) is set to do away with its policy of extending 100% fee waiver to all students of SC (Scheduled Caste), ST (Scheduled Tribe), and PWD (Persons with Disability) categories from the current academic batch of 2020-21. Instead, the exemption will now be granted on the basis of income certificates.
Sources said while this is a “proposed policy”, it will be finalised by September 8 without any changes, after the formal processes are completed.
Until last year, AUD had followed a unique policy of giving full fee waiver to reserved categories. However, this year, the varsity has cited both state and central government rules to revise the decision. Now 100% relaxation will only be given to students whose gross annual family income is below Rs 3 lakh per annum, regardless of categories. Earlier, this income slab wasn’t there for SC/ST/PWD students. For existing students, however, the full waiver will continue.
“There is a difference between reservation and financial assistance. In the latter, it is being linked to income. All SC/ST students who fall in the income criteria will get a 100% fee waiver,” the varsity’s PRO said. Asked why the policy was changed, the PR office said, “Because the varsity is trying to put its policy as per the GOI and GNCTD’s rules.” A clear notification in this regard is still to be put out in public or communicated to the student community, leading to confusion. The Financial Aid section on the AUD website still reads: “The University extends full waiver of tuition fees to all students belonging to SC, ST, and PwD categories.” However, the line is missing from the Admission Brochure.
The confusion began when applicants to the AUD’s MBA programme had to take admission in August. For all other courses, only the registration process is underway; fee payment and admission will take place later.
A 22-year-old SC student, whose name had appeared in the provisional admission list for MBA, saw her registration portal was showing full fee payment of Rs 1.18 lakh. “As my elder sister is doing her PhD from AUD, we knew about the fee waiver. She called the varsity and they verbally told us there had been change in the rules and the exemption has been done away with…We searched the Admission Brochure but it was not mentioned. My sister wrote to several authorities asking for clarification, but they did not give any clarity. Since we couldn’t afford the fee, the deadline passed and I couldn’t pay,” she said.
AUD Students’ Council Treasurer Shubhojeet Dey also said he had emailed authorities but had not received a clarification: “We have written to the registrar and student services about the confusion after students complained their full fee was reflecting on the registration portal, but they have not got back yet. We have given them two days; if they don’t clarify, we will protest.”