SFI Delhi Expresses Solidarity With GGSIPU Students Over Fee Hike

The Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Delhi State Committee expressed solidarity with students of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University against recent fee hike for session 2020-21.

In a notice dated 16th July 2020, the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) introduced fee hike for session 2020-21. As per the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) notice, the students were obliged to pay the academic fees in a single instalment before the session commenced on 4th August 2020. However, the students resented the decision and immediately demanded a rollback.

SFI stated that amidst a global pandemic when the recession was at a peak, a fee hike was very unwelcoming. SFI demanded that the economic backgrounds of the students should be taken care of while taking a fee-related decision.

“SFI Delhi urges the GGSIPU to roll back the fee hike and the circular dated July 16, 2020, which compels students to pay the fees in single instalment before the commencement of classes on August 4th. This decision comes off as a severe burden upon the students and their families.  The country is facing an economic recession and the working-class population has been hit most acutely. They are struggling with salary cuts, job losses, and other financial strains, exerting psychological stress as well.”

The Federation highlighted the exclusionary nature of the move and how it could have repercussions like high drop out rate. It added that students relying on scholarships would be severely affected by the decision. Another principal reason that the Federation cited was the psychological stress that everyone was going through. It added that amidst this stress, the fee hike would be an additional burden. The SFI notice also raised the issue of existing technological expenses that students had to bear owing to online classes and WiFi. Thus, it demanded that the university should rollback the hike because the students had already paid for the infrastructure provisions in university.

The President of SFI- Sumit Kataria shared the news links of fee hike with DU Beat in which the hiked amount was Rs. 96,800 for Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (VIPS) affiliated to GGSIPU. DU Beat also spoke to Sumit Kataria, President of SFI regarding the issue.

The IPU administration’s decision is worthy of high contempt. Forcing students to pay huge amounts in a single instalment within such short notice shows a lack of empathy towards the students. The country is still reeling from the economic setbacks created by the peremptory lockdown;  families are in financial crisis, introducing a fee hike at such times is outrageous, to say the least. This decision will cause many students to drop out of college. Such anti-student moves must be resisted at any cost! Some departments of Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (VIPS) personally called parents and guardians of every student and asked them to pay the fee amounting to Rs. 96,800.

Sumit Kataria, SFI President Delhi State Committee to DU Beat

Though the fee hike notice isn’t visible on the official IPU website, yet only a selected number of colleges affiliated to IPU were subjected to it. This included institutes like Delhi Metropolitan Education and Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology which are affiliated to GGSIPU. Though the institute mentioned in notice, that fee was same as previous year yet students expressed concerns regarding the same.

‘Students from a selected number of colleges are subjected to see hike amidst the pandemic. The fees are increased by a few institutions and some are asking to pay the fees in one go,’ as reported by IPU Buzz. “The notice read in bold that the fee is the exact same as the “last year’’. However, the situation isn’t the same as the previous year. There will be no use of college infrastructure including labs, libraries, cafeteria, smart boards or any other college facility and services. So, why should we even pay for those facilities?”

DU Beat also spoke to some students from IPU regarding the fee hike. The students opposed the decision and revealed how the fee hike was unfair to them. They also started an online petition campaign against the fee hike.

“As the coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate and the economic hardships faced by the middle class and working-class families are getting worse. Instead of reducing the fees for this year, the IPU admin had the sheer audacity to increase fees for the new academic year and setting a deadline for the submission of the fees. The IPU admin needs to apologise to the students for their shameful decision and rollback the hiked fees immediately.”

Kartik Rai, student of Jagan Institute of Management Studies ( JIMS), affiliated with IPU

SFI has now demanded that the University takes notice of the prevailing situation and accordingly reduce the fees. It also reiterated that it stood in solidarity with all the students who became victims of the fee hike.

Feature Image Credits: DNA India

Navneet Kaur