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University of Delhi’s Postgraduate Fee Hike Under Fire: Protests Erupt

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Delhi University’s postgraduate courses’ fees skyrocketed after a steady climb over the last few years, right after the 46% annual fee hike announced last year. The Student’s Federation of India (SFI) organised a protest at the Arts Faculty on June 27, 2024, against the inhuman hike in fees that has been implemented across courses from Bachelors through Doctorate programs. 

Amidst controversies about Delhi University’s alignment with the ruling party and its consequent reflection in the University’s alleged negligence towards a larger goal of education, its students among minorities and its relatively indiscreet partisanism, questions about the University’s financial framework have surfaced. Over the last two years, the University has experienced mammoth hikes in annual fees, including a 46% increase announced last year, a prodigious 1100% hike in PhD course fees and a further increase in the already high fees of Postgraduate courses. 

The English Department at both the PhD and M.A. levels has noticed a notoriously exorbitant hike, compared to other departments where the hike has not surpassed an amount of Rs. 2000. The PhD course has seen an increase to Rs. 23,968 from Rs. 1,932 last year, which was revised to Rs. 17,118 after protests. While Delhi University South Campus Director Shriprakash Singh opines that the fee has been “rationalised” and that they have not received any complaints from the students, DU faculty member and secretary of the Democratic Teachers Front, Abha Dev Habib, took to social media to express her strong disapproval of the mandate and that “the revision is not satisfactory.” Similarly, for the postgraduate courses in the English Department, the fees have been raised from an already hefty Rs. 15,000 in the academic year 2022-25 to Rs. 25,000 in the academic year 2024-26. 

In light of the brutal fee hikes and its grim ramifications for the majority of the student demographic at the varsity, the SFI unit of Delhi University called for a protest on the 27th of June at the Arts Faculty in the North Campus of the university, agitating against, what they term the “arbitrary and whimsical” hikes. It released a statement on Instagram condemning the silence and “the inaction of ABVP-led DUSU, for their lack of accountability and failure to address student concerns”. The slogan “fee must fall”, popularised during the protests against the fee hike at Jawaharlal Nehru University, reverberated in the captions of the Instagram post, with concerned and targeted students expressing solidarity with the sentiment of SFI. 

I’m a PhD scholar at Delhi University. I took my admission in October 2023. Where my seniors had to pay a thousand-four hundred, I had to pay twenty-four thousand”, a PhD scholar was recorded saying by the SFI organisers at the protest. Another lamented, “For my graduation, my fees were 13,000. When I speak to my juniors now, I discover that you will find no college with fees below the margin of 21,000.

While the University is torn apart under a regime characterised by a tumultuous power-politik and unaffordable fee structures throughout educational institutions that follow the NEP course framework, students continue to voice the injustice they face across various campuses of Delhi University.


Read also : JNUTA March Against Arbitrary Fee Hike


Featured Image Credits : SFI Delhi Instagram Page      


Aayudh Pramanik

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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