The Government Mohindra College has started three more self-financed courses -- BSc (hons) physics, BSc (hons) chemistry and BSc (hons) mathematics -- from the new academic session.
The college is already running 19 self-financed under-graduate and post-graduate courses.
The self-financed courses started by the state and central governments a few years ago have come under a severe criticism by the students, especially from the poor class, as these cost more than the regular courses even as the curriculum remains the same.
The fees for the state-funded courses at Mohindra college, which caters to lower and middle-class students and is known for its arts and science courses, varies between Rs 7,000 and Rs 9,000 per year. However, the fees for the self-financed courses introduced by the college ranges from Rs 20,000 to over Rs 45,000. Besides the course fee, the PTA and tuition funds are charged from the students.
The self-finance scheme, which was started in the name of skill development of the students, is now being seen as ‘commercialised education.’
Initially, BCA, BBA, MSc (IT) and PGDCA courses were in the list of self-financed courses, but now even BSc agriculture, MSc psychology, BSc CSM-1, BCom (hons), MA public administration, MA sociology, MSc Physics and MSc chemistry have also been put in this category.
“The seats of regular courses have been decreased and the numbers of self-financed courses have been increased in the college,” said Harpreet Singh, a leader of the Punjab Students Union (PSU).
There is no provision of fee concession in the self-financed courses and as a result, students from the poor families have to suffer the most. Meanwhile, Mohindra College principal Sukhbir Singh said, “Besides BA and some BSc courses, seven MA courses are regular in the college. The fees for self-financed courses in the government colleges is 30% less than private colleges.” The scenario at the Government College for Girls is also the same as students have to pay Rs 20,000 to 36,000 for self-financed courses.“There is no regular staff and funds from the government for such courses and teachers are being hired with the fees of students,” said, GCG principal Chirnjive Kaur.