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After senate nod to fee hike, Panjab University no longer cheapest varsity in region

With Panjab University (PU) senate approving the fee hike by 12.5% on Sunday, the PU is no more a cheapest university in terms of most courses in the region.

punjab Updated: Mar 29, 2017 14:53 IST
Ifrah Mufti
Ifrah Mufti
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University,PU fee hike,Cheapest university
With Panjab University (PU) senate approving the fee hike by 12.5% on Sunday, the PU is no more a cheapest university in terms of most courses in the region.(HT File Photo)

With Panjab University (PU) senate approving the fee hike by 12.5% on Sunday, the PU is no more a cheapest university in terms of most courses in the region.

Calling it a need of the hour, senior officials of PU told HT that with a varied hike in most courses from Rs 2,200 to about Rs 44,000 depending on the course, PU will be able to generate Rs 4 crore to Rs 5 crore considering the fact that the fee hike is only for students admitted afresh in academic session 2017-18 and 50-75% concessions have been proposed for the students belonging to the economically weaker section.

Sources from the finance department of PU said that the amount generated after the implementation of a tuition fee hike will depend on the students availing the concessions. Sources said that if in case nobody avails the concessions, the amount so generated will be around Rs 7 to Rs 8 crore.

However, the finance development officer (FDO), PU, had already projected the amount of Rs 271 crore before the MHRD, which is expected to be generated in the financial year 2017-18 from elements, including examination fee, tuition fee and various other funds. MHRD’s reply is still awaited.

Why so much hike?

Speaking to HT, the PU registrar Col GS Chadha (retd) said, “We have not hiked the fee while comparing it with the neighbouring universities but considering the departments, which invite good placements.”

“There are certain courses which will have the best return of investment (ROI), whosoever gets placements commensurate to whatsoever a student has spent on education,” Col Chadha added.

Col Chadha added that if a student wants a quality education, some amount is required to be paid for it. “In traditional courses, we have not increased any such amount while in certain courses, we have recommended reduction in a fee. Also, we have given marginal increase in some courses.”

“It is on the courses which are getting good placements. We have tried to be comparable and we are still less than other institutions. We are not comparing with IIMs or IITs but trying to match with regional universities or at least come at par with them. We have even planned a separate budget to compensate the needy students under the EWS category,” added Col Chadha.

PU was cheapest until last year

In the year 2016, a comparative chart of tuition fee structure in universities was also circulated among think tank members, which clearly showed that barring Kurukshetra University of Haryana, PU was cheapest in comparison to Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar and Punjabi University, Patiala, in most of the courses.

But central universities like Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh, and Jawarhar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi, had a much lower fee structure than PU.

Vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover said that the only universities, which are charging lesser than PU are central universities-Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University and Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU), because they have much higher budget allocation. The V-C said, “We are short of funds and have to devise ways to increase the income.”

Student organisation demands rollback

Panjab University’s student wing National Student’s Union of India (NSUI) and student organisation of India (SOI) on Monday submitted a memorandum to the vice-chancellor office on the steep hike in the university’s fee. Commenting on the university’s decision to hike the fee, NSUI state president Gurjot Sandhu said, “As the fee has been increased by 12.5%, it will jeopardise the future of economically weaker section students. The fee hike cannot be borne by the families of such students and they will be forced to withdraw their wards from colleges.”

In the financial session 2016-17, out of the total estimated internal income of the university of Rs 250 crore, about 50% had come from examination fee, 32% from tuition fee and other charges and balance from other sources such as hostels fee, sports fee, and entrance test fee.

The fee structure suggests that the PU has higher fee in some courses but continues to be less in some.

First Published: Mar 28, 2017 11:20 IST