Panjab University puts annual fee hike on hold
The Panjab University syndicate on Saturday decided to indefinitely defer 7.5% fee hike for self-financed courses and 5% for traditional courses for new entrants in the 2020-21 academic session.
The fee hike was proposed by a 15-member PU panel set up by the vice-chancellor in a February 20 meeting. The members of the syndicate made the decision considering the Covid-19 lockdown.
“The fee hike item was withdrawn and no discussion took place on it. It has been deferred indefinitely owing to the economic situation created by the lockdown,” said a syndicate member, requesting anonymity.
Sources said the fee hike for new entrants is unlikely to get the nod later in the year too.
Opposition from students
Before the meeting, various student organisations protested against the proposed fee hike. Members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Students For Society (SFS), Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) among others handed over representations to syndicate members opposing the hike.
Panjab University Campus Students Council (PUCSC) president Chetan Chaudhary, who had also opposed the move in the February meeting, said, “The syndicate has taken the decision in the interest of students.”
Additional finances to be affected
It will be for the first time in many years that PU might not implement the annual fee hike.The annual hike allows the fund-starved varsity shore up finances.
PU finance and development officer Vikram Nayyar said: “If the fee hike is not implemented, it will affect the additional funds that were expected from it.”
It is learnt the university was expecting additional funds of around Rs 80-90 lakh from the hike.
Meanwhile, the syndicate decided to form a committee to review the proposals for introducing several new courses from the next academic session.
The tentative academic calendar for the 2020-21 session was also approved. However, the vice-chancellor has been authorised to make changes to it, if needed.