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Fee hike needs to be analysed holistically, says PU V-C

Panjab University vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover on Sunday said that the fee hike needed to be seen holistically.

punjab Updated: Apr 24, 2017 19:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Arun Kumar Grover,UIET,KN Pathak
Panjab University vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover (HT File Photo)

Panjab University vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover on Sunday said that the fee hike needed to be seen holistically.

“We have rationalised the fee structure and It is wrong to project it as over 1,000% hike,” said Grover.

While addressing a press conference, he added that students in the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) were paying different fee than chemical engineering students where as both were part of the same university and similarly, the students of University Institute of Applied Management Sciences were paying much higher fee than University Business of School.

He also pointed out that for traditional courses the university was still cheaper than affiliated colleges in the city.

“The campus had come up in 1960s. The fee used to be Rs 180 per annum and Rs 15 per month, for traditional graduate courses. There was no fee hike until 1995-96 when it was hiked to Rs 30 per month. Then in 2001-02, when the Punjab government refused to pay it full share, professor KN Pathak, then the vice-chancellor, hiked the fee to Rs 63 per month. It continued to be raised and in 2006-07 it reached Rs 90 per month and Rs 1,080 per annum,” said the V-C.

“During professor RC Sobti’s regime, there was no hike. But he enhanced the income by starting interdisciplinary courses and income was raised from new students,” he said.

In 2016-17, it was Rs 183 per month and for 2017-18 it has been hiked to Rs 833 per month or Rs 10,000 per annum.

The V-C said that when he joined the varsity four-and-a-half-year ago, he was asked by bureaucrats to raise the tuition fee. “So we raised it by around 5% for 2 years,” he said.

“As it was still too little, Punjab, UT and Centre officials told me to raise the income and we raised it with minimum Rs 500 and maximum Rs 1,200. It continued for two years,” he said.

“Traditional courses (which include honour schools, MA, MCom, MEd, MPhil) contribute just Rs 13.76 crore, which is just 5% of the total income whereas half of faculty is employed in teaching them. But the partially self-financed courses contribute ₹57 crore, which is over 21% of the total income of the university,” he said.

He added that the burden had to be shared by traditional courses too when for the same courses affiliated government colleges in the city were charging much higher fee.

On nine senators calling for a rollback of fee hike, he said the senate had approved the hike and there were just 6 dissenting members. "It is the duty of the senate to govern and sustain this university," he said.

He added, "By May 7, it will be clear how much we will get and senate can take a decision."

The V-C will meet the Punjabfinance minister onTuesday and UGC and MHRD officials on April 26.

First Published: Apr 24, 2017 12:06 IST