Panjab University seeks fee hike amid financial crisis

Amidst a dearth in the funds in Panjab University and protests being conducted over the fee hike, the university still went on with its decision in approving the 5% fee hike for all the courses of university departments. Even their regional centres were included by the senate of the Panjab university in the recent decision regarding the fees. The increase in the fee would be applied from the new session that would begin from July.The tuition fee will see a minimum increase of Rs 500 and a maximum increase of Rs 1200 depending on the course. Many students were seen protesting over this decision yet the university’s vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover justified the hike stating it to be a nominal one.

After the hike, the tuition fee will see a minimum increase of Rs 500 and a maximum increase of Rs 1200 depending on the course. Many students were seen protesting over this decision yet the university’s vice-chancellor Arun Kumar justified the hike stating it to be a nominal one.

The vice-chancellor was quoted as saying, “This is just a little increase in the fees. We have already set up a think-tank to look into the financial conditions of the varsity. We have been sending the outputs of the think-tank to MHRD and other stakeholders including Punjab government.” The authorities also appeared unflustered despite the continuing fee hike. The protest has gone to the extent of hunger strike yet the university is unperturbed and does not show any sign in changing their decision.

The vice-chancellor has shown concern for some students and assured that financial support would be extended to those willing to study in the campus. The V-C added “We should be able to financially support all students willing to study on our campus. We have decided that the students whose parents’ earning is less than Rs 5 lakh instead of Rs 2.5 lakh can seek financial support. We will also strengthen our Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes cell.”

What has come as a relief in this fee hike – is the hike in the cash prizes by the University for the Academic Performance of the students. “Cash prizes of Rs 300 and Rs 500 don’t look nice. These are not the amounts to be given. We should create some money. We can probably utilise the part of income that will come out of enhancement of fees, in this regard.” The ASG of India has also welcomed the decision of the university for economically weak students and emphasized that the change in the fee structure should definitely help this category.

The university is also expecting 100 crore fund from University Grants Commission so that their budgetary requirements could be fulfilled. The matter is not just to look after the student welfare; disbursing the salaries of staff, release of research grants, medical bill reimbursement and even taking care of recruitments are included in the budgetary plan.

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