HP Govt. tricks students, continues playing delaying tactics on panel report
There should have been a stay on hiked HPU fees as the decision was under review. However, students are still made to pay hiked fees and the Govt. and HPU VC aren’t disclosing the report. Does Govt. want to carry out another review on panel’s report?
SHIMLA- The delaying tactics adopted by the government on fee hike in Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) has put the students in a fix as some students have already paid the revised fee.
The authorities have failed to take a decision on the high-powered fee committee report even after six weeks.
The committee headed by former High Court Judge VK Sharma and comprising chairperson of Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission Sarojani Thakur and former Registrar of HPU AR Chauhan to review the fee hike following protests by students across the state was constituted on September 22. It submitted its report on October 20.
The agitating students were expecting reduction in fee on the basis of the recommendation of the fee committee, but the government has preferred to sit on the report and let the examinations of undergraduate and postgraduate classes commence from November 27, leaving the students in a lurch.
The committee held meetings with the parties and sought their viewpoint on fee hike. While the university representatives justified the fee hike, the representatives of student bodies dubbed it as unjustified and said that the university should look for other options to mobilise resource and the government should substantially increase the grant instead of putting burden of poor students, who would deprived of higher education in case the hike in fee was not rolled back.
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The government has not so far make the report public, but sources said that the committee tried to rationalise the fee structure and suggested “short term and long term” measures to give some relief to students.
The fee hike in some cases was more than 20 times. The students’ organisations suspended their stir for 10 days on October 16 in anticipation that the committee would do justice and reduce the fee structure but in vain.
The SFI and the ABVP student leaders said that the university authorities had taken advantage of the situation as the students were busy with examinations and instead of reducing the fee, the university and colleges are collecting “development fund” which was unjustified.
“We will resume the agitation and force the university to reduce the fees. We will also get the hiked fee charged from students refunded,” said SFI campus president Rahul Chauhan.
The SFI and the ABVP have criticised the HPU authorities for charging huge sum from the students in the name of development fund and said that development was a state matter and the students should not be burdened.
Credits:Bhanu P Lohumi (TNS)