No hike in col­lege fees this year in view of pan­demic, says govt

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Gurugram - Sa­dia Akhtar sa­dia.akhtar@htlive.com

We have been re­ceiv­ing many re­quests from peo­ple ex­press­ing their in­abil­ity to pay an in­creased fee.

SP SUKHIJA, JOINT DI­REC­TOR-2, HIGHER ED­U­CA­TION DE­PART­MENT

GU­RU­GRAM: The state higher ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment on Tues­day said that it would not im­ple­ment any fee hike in gov­ern­ment col­leges for the up­com­ing 2020-21 aca­demic ses­sion, keep­ing in mind the fi­nan­cial dis­tress caused by the Covid-19 pan­demic.

Usu­ally, uni­ver­si­ties across the state in­crease their fees by 10-15% every year, said of­fi­cials. How­ever, in­creas­ing the fees this year could have ad­verse im­pli­ca­tions for the gross en­rol­ment ra­tio of the state with many stu­dents be­ing dis­cour­aged from tak­ing ad­mis­sion, said of­fi­cials

In a let­ter shared with all gov­ern­ment col­leges on Tues­day, the de­part­ment said that this year too, the fee struc­ture for the 2018-19 ses­sion will con­tinue to pre­vail.

This is the sec­ond year in a row that the higher ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment has not hiked fees for col­leges in the state. Ear­lier, in Novem­ber 2019, the de­part­ment was forced to roll back fee hike for

the 2019-2020 ses­sion af­ter protests by stu­dents.

SP Sukhija, joint di­rec­tor-2, de­part­ment of higher ed­u­ca­tion, said that the de­part­ment had taken the de­ci­sion of not in­creas­ing col­lege fees this year keep­ing in mind the in­ter­ests of the stu­dents. “We have been re­ceiv­ing many rep­re­sen­ta­tions and re­quests from peo­ple ex­press­ing their in­abil­ity to pay an in­creased fee since their source of in­come has dried up. Rou­tinely, uni­ver­si­ties in­crease their fees by 10-15% every year. If we were to go by the usual prece­dent, fee this year would have shot up. We, how­ever, took a com­pas­sion­ate view so that stu­dents don’t have to su­fof fer and pay an in­creased fee,” said Sukhija.

He added that hik­ing the fee could have dis­cour­aged stu­dents from weaker eco­nomic sec­tions of the so­ci­ety from tak­ing ad­mis­sion. The de­ci­sion to keep the fee struc­ture un­changed this year had ear­lier been dis­cussed in a meet­ing with all prin­ci­pals that took place last Sun­day. Pooja Khullar, prin­ci­pal of the Dronachary­a Gov­ern­ment Col­lege, said that the de­ci­sion had been taken keep­ing in mind the var­i­ous con­straints that peo­ple are fac­ing due to the pan­demic. “There will be no en­hance­ment of fees this year. The de­part­ment has de­cided to con­tinue with the old fee struc­ture so that stu­dents are not dis­suaded from tak­ing ad­mis­sion,” said Khullar.

The de­part­ment of higher ed­u­ca­tion is ex­pected to ini­ti­ate the on­line ad­mis­sion process for un­der­grad­u­ate and post­grad­u­ate cour­ses in the com­ing days. No­dal ad­mis­sion of­fi­cers have al­ready been ap­pointed in var­i­ous col­leges across the state to fa­cil­i­tate the process.

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