Himachal Pradesh University (HPU)'s decision to hike fees has drawn flak from different student organisations in the state, including the left-wing Student Federation of India (SFI) and the right-wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), that held statewide protests against the fee hike.
Though it was not yet clear as to how much the fee had been increased for different courses, sources at HPU said it had been hiked up to 50% for some courses provided by HPU and other affiliated government colleges.
The SFI's state committee staged protests in 43 colleges. The SFI-backed Student Central Association (SCA) also held a protest at HPU. SCA general secretary Piyush Sewal said the decision to hike the fee was anti-student and the SCA would protest the implementation of the move. "We have started a movement against anti-student activities and will take the battle to the logical end," said Sewal.
He said the SCA had suggested 12 measures to increase the university's income. "If HPU considers our recommendation, there would be no need to hike the fee," he said, adding that it was evident that the university intended to burden the students.
Meanwhile, SFI leaders accused the HPU administration of following the orders of the Congress government. "The HPU talks about the importance of autonomy but its decisions are totally anti-student and are influenced by the state government that slashed the HPU budget," alleged SFI leaders.
They said ever since vice chancellor of HPU ADN Bajpai joined the university, he had been trying to hike the fees. They added that the cost of under graduate examination forms had been raised from Rs 80 to Rs 270, BEd forms from Rs 250 to Rs 800 and BTech forms from Rs 500 to Rs 1100 and hostel charges had been raised from Rs 2500 to Rs 6800 during Bajpai's tenure in the last three years.