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Indraprastha University fee hike row: Future of students at stake as IPU demands arrears

In 2013, the Delhi government formed a committee State Fee Regulatory Committee (SFRC) to check and regularise the fee structure of the various colleges of Indraprastha University. The need for such a committee came when the authorities of the colleges complained that they don't have funds to pay the salary of the faculty. The committee assigned the task of regularising the fee of all the 74 colleges of the University.

Sushmita Panda Sushmita Panda
New Delhi Updated on: September 14, 2019 14:56 IST
Representative News Image

Students protesting against Indraprastha University, demanding the dismissal of fee hike

As Indraprastha University demands fee arrears, the future of thousands of students of the University remains uncertain. On 8 September 2019, students protested outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence, highlighting their issues. 

Addressing the protestors, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said: "The SLP will be sanctioned and we have also informed the Director of Education about the same. The SLP will be filed by next week. I have asked him to examine the situation."

"As you all are saying the colleges are not giving degrees, we will try to pass the order so at least you can get the degrees. Let me examine the situation," he added.

In 2013, the Delhi government formed a committee State Fee Regulatory Committee (SFRC) to check and regularise the fee structure of the various colleges of Indraprastha University. The need for such a committee came when the authorities of the colleges complained that they don't have funds to pay the salary of the faculty. The committee assigned the task of regularising the fee of all the 74 colleges of the University. 

The Section 6 of (Prohibition of Capitation Fee, Regulation of Admission, Fixation of Non-Exploitative Fee and other Measures to Ensure Equity and Excellence) Act, 2007, empowers the government to constitute a fee regulatory committee and consider its recommendation and if satisfied, implement it. 

"Even though the SFRC completed and submitted its report in 2015, It was only on February 19, 2016, that the Government notified its acceptance of the recommendations made by the SFRC, effective for the academic years 2014-2017," said Navneet Thakur, alumnus, Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta Institute of Technology and Management. 

Navneet Thakur has been consistently leading the protest and demonstrations against the fee hike. 

"If the government would have notified about the recommendations and implemented it on time, the situation would have been a lot better. This whole fee hike issue is because of that delay," he added. 

As students started protesting against the fee hike, within 25 days rescinding order was issued and the order stood dismissed. 

Notification issuing the rescinding order reads as under: 

“And further in exercise of the powers conferred by subsections (3) and (13) of section 6 of the said Act, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi had notified the proposed fees for the academic year 2013- 2016 given by the State Fee Regulatory Committee for the academic year 20142017 and for the year 2014-2018 for four years course and 2014-2019 for five years course respectively vide Extra Ordinary Gazette Notification NO. F.DHE4(68)/SFRC/14-15/9728 dated 19.02.2016.  

Considering the fact that thousands of students have been affected by the revision of the fee with retrospective effect, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi rescinds the aforesaid Gazette Notification NO. F.DHE4(68)/SFRC/1415/9728 dated 19.02.2016” 

Siddhant Inderjeet, law student, University School of law and legal studies said, "This fee hike issue is prominent in the colleges which have an affiliation of IPU not in the university's campus colleges. Students from 2015-16 are the most affected of this whole fiasco."

Meanwhile, some students have lost faith and are forcefully paying the fees. Some students are also worried that what if arrears increases because of the strike and paying the fees. 

" In my college, there are six branches, each with 55-60 students. Students who completed their course in 2013 and 2014 are not affected by this hike. But students who joined in 2015 are right under the gun. We hoped this election will improve our situation but unfortunately, things are getting worse," said Mayank Jha, alumnus, Amity School of Engineering and Technology.

"Students who are preparing for CGL exams or those who are yet to join offices is facing a lot of difficulties since IPU is not even giving the provisional documents. The administration is not even ready to talk. They simply say, first pay the fees," he added. 

The margins of the arrears depend on the colleges and different for every course. "The margin of arrears is higher in B.tech and equivalents course as compared to other courses. Generally, it starts from Rs. 50,000 and goes up to 2 lakhs," said a student requesting anonymity.

The situation is even worse for students who belong from Economically weaker sections or students who took loans for the respective courses. 

"At the beginning of the EWS students are supposed to fill up forms and they get the loan or scholarship on the basis of their first admission instalment. But if the college shows arrears, the loan can get cancelled immediately," said Navneet.

This year, On 22 April, after the Supreme Court dismissed Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by students, the colleges affiliated to IPU had sent fee arrear notifications. The SLP was filed after the Delhi High Court passed the revised fee judgment on 28 January allowing colleges to hike fee.

More than 25,000 students are affected and the colleges in their desperation now demanding cash to clear the pending arrears. Some students have decided to move on, those who are placed are forced to hide about this issue and some are hopelessly waiting. 

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