In the wake of Panjab University (PU) think tank’s proposal to raise the tuition fees and the Board of Finance passing varsity’s budget, which alluded at raising hostel rent and tuition fees, students, led by Students for Society (SFS) group, gathered in front of vice-chancellor’s office to protest against the move on Tuesday.
The protesting students raised slogans against the PU administration and Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), condemning the education policy of the central government.
The protestors said that the proposals from PU think tank include 20% fee-hike from coming session (2016-17) and then further 25% for successive sections (2017-18, 2018-19), while the Board of Finance had passed budget for coming session of PU where the burden of deficit was being put on students.
The budget proposals include, increase in income from room rent dilapidation and water charges by 26%, increase in examination fee by 4.33%, increase in registration, certificate and Common Entrance Test (CET) fees by 3.86% and increase in re-checking, re-evaluation of answer books by 9.1%, increase in income from USOL by 2.5% and increase in income from partially self-financed courses by 3%.
SFS leader Ravinder, while addressing the students said, “The decision of PU administration will have a devastating effect. Considering various fees that students have to pay (like tuition, hostel, mess diet, examination and other fees) in varsity is already quite high, many students have to leave study as they can’t afford. Further hike in fee will close down entry for students coming from weaker sections.”
SFS, general secretary, Monica said, “The education policy of the govt. is proving disastrous for the country. It has aroused protests all over the country. Recently we witnessed countrywide “Occupy UGC” movement and protests against “offering” of higher education to WTO for trade. Education is not a commodity. Rather it is a right which should be available to every person, irrespective of his/her socio-economic background. If the government continues with the present education policy, soon education will become a privilege of elites.”