Punjab University has justified the decision of implementation of tuition fee and termed the protest 'unjustified' on the third day of the protest against fee hike.
PU said for the last six years there had not been any increase in the tuition fee and other charges for any course in the university and it had become necessary to cut down the deficit in the annual budget of university.
A press released in the university said, "The fee was increased and duly announced after the June 29 syndicate meeting. In this way, when the first year students took admission in the university, they were quite aware of this fact."
PU claimed that the fee in the university was still far less than other educational institutions of the region and the hike had been implemented for first year students only.
"We urge the students to accept the hike in the interest of being necessary to sustaining and creating additional infrastructure," PU stated further adding that protest by a section of students was unjustified.
PU Board of finance in February 2013 had asked the PU that it was imperative to increase the tuition fee.
Subsequently, the syndicate in June, 2013 resolved that the tuition fee for first year students of the session 2013-14 for all courses other than the self-finance courses would be increased by 10 percent and for self-finance courses by 20 percent and that there would be no increase in tuition fee for ongoing classes.
"At the time of the admission the students were informed that there could be some increase in the fee," the PU spokesman claimed further adding that the annual increase for a typical MA course was only Rs. 1,650 and for LLB it was `1,200 for BSc(Hons) and for MSc (Hons) it was Rs. 3,200 and for self financed courses the average increase was approximately Rs. 15,000.
The university claimed that due to increase in the salaries and other expenses the University had been facing deficit. "In a recent meeting with the officials of MHRD and UGC, the university officials were given clear instructions that the university would have to generate its own funds for development purposes and the government could not meet the whole deficit," said the varsity.
Meanwhile, the students carried out a rally on Sunday evening from V-C office to various hostels in which a large number of students participated. The issue could snowball into a big protest as after weekend holidays most students are expected to get back to the university on Monday. The rally was carried out amidst heavy police deployment and roads leading to the house of vice- chancellor were barricaded. The students said the decision would on Monday. The lone student who is on hunger strike is said to be stable.