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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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In a recurring move by the University, a whopping twelve-fold fee hike for the English PhD programme this time has left both students and teachers enraged and aghast.

The University of Delhi’s English Department recently announced the increased fees for their PhD programme. The fee has escalated from Rs. 1,932 last year to Rs. 23,968 currently, causing shocked reactions from several groups of teachers and students.

There have been stern critics against the university’s move, with teacher and student organisations blaming the new National Education Policy as a tool to ‘privatise’ and ‘commercialise’ education.

Earlier implementation of NEP led to a 400% fee hike in Allahabad University and 100% in BHU, and the same has now happened in Delhi University.

Anjali, DU Secretary of the All India Students’ Association (AISA)

The Democratic Teachers’ Front formally protested against the fee hike via a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh.

Comparisons of such fee hikes are also being done with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) after the institution borrowed from the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).

This has led the DU wing of the All India Students’ Association to call for investigations into the role of HEFA behind student fee hikes.

The role of HEFA has to be examined, in which government grants for universities are being replaced by loans, which also have the component of interest. Delhi University has already procured loans worth Rs. 1800 crore, which will be extracted along with interest from student’s pockets. This is a strategic attempt by both the government and the administration to push out the marginalized sections (dalits, adivasis, women, and gender minorities) out of education.

Anjali on AISA’s stance on HEFA.

The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) also criticised the fee hike, stating that it would hinder ‘access to quality education.’ They also declared that this fee hike is a ‘blatant attack on publicly funded institutions’ and ‘exacerbates financial stress on students and their families.’ Lastly, they also claim that the administration did not allow the PhD students enough time to submit their fees and were asked to pay the amount through a ‘one-day deadline’.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad also opposed the increase in fees and highlighted the ‘lack of representation’ in central universities.

Despite such protests and opposition, the University administration is yet to make a formal public comment regarding such massive developments.

Read More: DU Sees Rise in Applications After Introduction of 5-Year Law Courses

Featured Image Credits: Frontlist

Priyanka Mukherjee

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The protest against hostel fee hike and draconian hostel rules in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has entered its second week.

On Wednesday, 13th November, the hostel fee hike was rolled back partially during the Executive Council (EC) meeting. The decision was announced through a tweet by R Subrahmanyam, Education Secretary, Government of India, which was later retweeted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

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According to the revised structure, the single room rent has been revised to Rs 200 per month, while the double bed rent has been revised to Rs 100 per month. The outrage surrounding the new manual emerged as the single room rent of Rs 20 per month was increased to Rs 600 per month whereas, double room rent was increased from Rs 10 per month to Rs 300 per month. However, the one-time mess security remains at Rs 5,500, the service charges remain at 1,700 per month along with the earlier utility charges. Moreover, Economically Weaker Section (EWS) students would receive assistance.

The Executive Council (EC) is the supreme decision-making body of the Varsity, which also has representatives from the JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA). The venue for the EC meeting was changed on Wednesday without prior information to the Students’ Union and the JNUTA. DK Lobiyal, JNUTA president quoted to PTI, “The meeting was supposed to be held at the Convention Centre inside the campus but when three EC members, professor Sachidanand Sinha, Moushumi Basu, and Baviskar Sharad Prahlad reached the venue, there was no meeting there.”

JNU students won’t call off the protest any time soon; if the draft manual is approved, it will be implemented soon. 14th November was observed as National Protest Day, wherein JNUTA along with DUTA, Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers’ Associations (FEDCUTA) and several student bodies rallied to save public-funded education in India, from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar.

Among the discontentment against the administration, activist and former JNU student, Umar Khalid spoke to The Quint, “The government and the JNU Vice Chancellor, Jagadesh Kumar, is giving the matter another twist. First, they said that the economically weaker sections will be aided by the administration, later the administration has come out with a press release stating that Below Poverty Line (BPL) students will be given concessions in the fee structure.” He further questioned the Government and media’s stance in propagating lies.

JNUSU’s former President Sai Balaji acknowledged the curfew and dress codes withdrawal, and said, “The government has played a cruel joke on the marginalised sections of students today.”  The JNU administration contested that the Varsity has not increased the fee for the past 19 years, regarding which JNUSU demanded a discussion before the proposed hike. The protest for the same continues.

Featured Image Credits: Noihrit Gogoi for DU Beat

Anandi Sen

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A massive protest broke out in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday over fees hike during the Varsity’s convocation ceremony, leading to clashes with the police.

On 11th November 2019, thousands of students from JNU clashed with the Delhi police after the protests over drastic fee hike escalated. The students were demanding the withdrawal of the draft hostel manual, which they claimed has provisions for fee hike, dress code, and curfew timings. They were planning to protest outside the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) premises where the varsity’s third convocation that was being addressed by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu was held. While Naidu left the venue after attending the convocation, the Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD), Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ was stuck due to the protest for over six hours.

The students were demanding the withdrawal of the draft hostel manual, in which service charges of INR 1,700 were introduced and the one-time mess security fee, which is refundable, has been hiked from INR 5,500 to INR 12,000. The rent for a single-seater room has been increased from INR 20 per month to 600 per month, while rent for a double-seater room has been increased to INR 300 per month from INR 1,000 per month. The draft hostel manual also has provisions for dress code and curfew timings, the Students’ Union alleged, even as the administration denied these two claims.

Over 600 police personnel were deployed to handle the protest organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU). Several blockades put up by the police were also broken by the protesting students, who started their march towards the AICTE around 11.30 a.m. Barricades were placed around the JNU Campus, as well as on the route between the AICTE auditorium and the University at Baba Balaknath Marg and nearby areas. As the protest escalated, students clashed with the Delhi police, leading to skirmishes. Water cannons were used to disperse the protestors and police claimed that students were detained. This intensified the protest, with the students shouting against the Delhi Police, as well as the Vice-Chancellor (VC).

As reported by the Times of India, the JNUSU office-bearers later met the HRD Minister who assured them that their demands would be looked into. But the VC still hasn’t met with the union. “The VC is destroying the varsity. We have made several attempts to meet him on campus, but there has been no fruitful result,” Aishe Ghosh, president of JNUSU.

The students claim that the decision to hike fees by 300 percent is exclusive of students from marginalised communities. The protest is also against other actions of the varsity, like restrictions by the administration on entry to the Parthasarathy Rocks – a hillock inside the campus, or attempts to lock Students’ Union office.

DU Beat spoke with a foreign student from JNU agitated against the administration who threw light on the condition of foreign students. The student revealed that the Science students of the Foreign Nationality category pay up to 1500$ which counts nearly INR 1 lakh per semester. The Arts students of the Foreign Nationality pay up to 1200$ per semester, which equates around INR 87,000. “Just because we are “foreign” category doesn’t mean everyone comes from well to-do families. Around 40 Tibetan students’ who passed the entrance exam, could not afford the fees. They couldn’t join. JNU has a good population of SAARC country students. The fee is particularly neck breaking for South Asian students who come from third world countries,” they said.

Image Caption: Posters elaborating on the fee hike crises were circulated among students' via whatsapp and social media. Image Credits: Unknown
Image Caption: Posters elaborating on the fee hike crises were circulated among students’ via whatsapp and social media.
Image Credits: Unknown
Image Caption: Posters elaborating on the fee hike crises were circulated among students' via whatsapp and social media. Image Credits: Unknown
Image Caption: Posters elaborating on the fee hike crises were circulated among students’ via whatsapp and social media.
Image Credits: Unknown

In these circumstance students’ raise pertinent questions like-“How is this affordable? And how does this hold to any foundational values of JNU?” while the responses remain bleak.

Around 15 to 20 students who were graduating were sitting inside the auditorium main gate in solidarity with the protestors. The JNUSU has said the strike would not end until the hostel manual is withdrawn.

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Shreya Juyal

[email protected]

Students from the Institute of Home Economics, with the support of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), engaged in a protest against the increase in the fees of the college.

On Monday, 1st September 2019, the students of the Institute of Home Economics led by ABVP protested against the increase in the fees of the college. ABVP placed several demands before the college administration including reduction in the fees, improvement in the quality of food in college canteen, renovation of college washrooms, and re-opening of the closed book shop inside college premises.

As per the latest fee structure, the fees for many courses have been increased by INR 8,000-10,000 from last year. Last year, the fee for courses such as B.Sc (Honours) Home Science and Microbiology was INR 19,675. It has now been increased to INR 28,890. Similarly, the fee for B.Sc (Honours) Food Technology was INR 29,895 last year which has now been increased to INR 39,995.

According to the students, the fee structure of the college always seemed inadequate to them as it has always been more expensive than other colleges affiliated to the University of Delhi (DU), but they had accepted it as the courses offered by the institute are not widespread and not a lot of colleges offer the same courses. However, this immediate increase in the fees seemed unnecessary and requires change along with other issues of the college.

According to Jyoti Chaudhary, ABVP’s State Executive Member and former Joint-Secretary of Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU)  “The fees of various colleges of Delhi University are constantly increasing, it’s a matter of concern for the common students. DUSU and ABVP had protested against the fee hike in colleges and hostels in the past as well, following which they were assured by the Delhi University Administration that their issue would be resolved but there has been no result so far. The way the fees are being increased by more than 50% in colleges, is not justified in any way. Colleges will continue to struggle against the fee hike.”

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Image Credits: ABVP Media
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Students from Institute of Home Economics along with members of the ABVP protest against the fee hike.                                          Image Credits: ABVP Media

Pratik Gupta, ABVP’s Institute of Home Economics Unit Chairperson said, “The fee of Institute of Home Economics is twice or thrice the fees of that of other colleges affiliated to the University of Delhi. Moreover, the college administration has imposed a financial burden on the students in several other ways adding to the common problems of these students. Fees inequality is unfortunate, considering that the condition of the washrooms and canteen of the college is not worth the additional fees.”

According to sources, hundreds of students participated in this protest against the authorities, but no one from the college administration tried to listen and understand the problems of the students. ABVP will soon conduct a protest on a large scale against the college administration in this context.

Feature Image Credits: Shiksha

Avni Dhawan

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Students of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur (SGTB) Khalsa College protest against an abrupt increase in fees by the authorities.

SGTB Khalsa, established in 1951, is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges for Science, Commerce, and Arts in India.

Unlike other colleges affiliated with the University of Delhi (DU), the fee structure of SGTB Khalsa is relatively expensive. According to the sources, there has been a sudden fee hike this year ranging from INR 3,000 for Arts courses to  INR 9,000 for Science Courses. Science students already pay additional fees in the name of labs and it has been increased again. Students are also charged in the name of university development fund, college development fund, maintenance fund, and overall development fund. Further, they are also expected to pay some extra amount as examination fees, which isn’t required in other colleges. Students are convinced that this is nothing but different ways by authorities of extracting money from them. This hike seems unjustified when there is no upgradation in the facilities provided by the college.

The source also revealed that apart from this, the accommodation facility inside the campus is also very expensive. The college hostels have skyrocketing fee structure of INR 71,000 per semester which is almost INR 1.5 lakhs per year. On the other hand, in other colleges, hostel fees are practically negligible or genuinely affordable.

According to Rhythm Nagpal, a student from SGTB Khalsa College, “The easily affordable fee structure is one of the reasons why Delhi University is a dream for students. We worked hard in high school to get here and this unjust behavior makes our efforts seem worthless. This hike is pointless and makes us question the authorities as it’s extremely unfair on their part. What will be the difference between private and government colleges then? The increment that is done gradually over years now takes place suddenly in just a year with no improvement in the facilities provided to us, the college needs to have a reality check and gain a perspective”.

Ravnoor Kaur, another student from SGTB Khalsa College said “The fees of DU doesn’t seem a lot and makes us think that a hike of Rs 3,000 hardly makes a difference but DU has students from all over the nation who are accommodated in PGs and are paying abundant of rent, which is also increased every year at an alarming rate. The administration should think of those students and think what impact this unjust action would have on them and their families”

Feature Image Credits: Shiksha

Avni Dhawan

[email protected]                              

 

The course fee of BMMMC offered at Indraprastha College for Women was hiked from INR 67,845 to 1,00,845. The sudden hike has left students feeling discontented.

On 3rd July 2019, Indraprastha College for Women issued a notice stating that the fee of the Bachelor’s in Multimedia and Mass Communication  (BMMMC) course had been increased from INR 67,845 to INR 1,00,845. In the annual fee breakdown, the course fee was increased from INR 15,000 to INR 44,000. 

The sudden move has been met with backlash from the students. “This is unfair to the students from marginalised communities. The University of Delhi (DU) is a public university. We expected the fee to be lower here. The course is an autonomous course but increasing the fee to 1 lakh is absurd,” said a second-year student. 

Another student added, “It”s almost a two-fold increase in the fee structure. Last year, the it was around INR 67,000. We understand that the University calls BMMMC a self-financed course, but this sudden hike is exorbitant.” 

According to the college prospectus of the academic year 2018-19, the fees for the first-year students was INR 82,000 which included development fee and establishment charges. The fees for the second and third year was set to INR 67,845. The college has now hiked the fee for second and third year students to INR 1,00,845. The fee structure for the first year students is yet to be announced. 

The deadline for submitting the college fees is the 25th July 2019. 

The college facilities remain poor despite the annual fee hike.The studio fee of INR 15,000 stands underutilized. The equipment and computer systems need to be updated. It is said that the students rarely get to visit the studio. 

The clause of the refundable ‘caution money’ of INR 3000 seems unclear. Students are required to pay the sum at the beginning of the semester,  if they don’t meet the minimum 66% requirement of attendance, the money is forfeited. If the money is forfeited, students need to pay it once again in the next semester. 

 

The high fee in a public university prevents students from marginalised backgrounds from accessing it. In a public university system where casteism still survives, fee hikes like this only strengthens the elitsm of these spaces. 

The college is yet to give a statement on the reasons behind the hike. 

Feature Image Credits: College Dunia

Jaishree Kumar

[email protected]

The continuing problems related to admissions in the varsity have raised several questions on the functionality of the administration.

Student organisations Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and National Students Union of India (NSUI) of the University of Delhi (DU) have voiced their concerns and demonstrated against the DU Vice Chancellor regarding the difficulties faced by students during the time of admissions. The demonstation also sought to question the fee hike that has taken place for almost all courses in the University.

ABVP has voiced the concerns of the students by protesting at the Arts Faculty, addressing various issues related to admissions. The increment in college fees has been challenged along with irregularity in Sports Category admissions. Provision of admission by accepting undertaking, and introduction of EWS category in M. Phil/ PhD admissions has been requested. Importantly, inadequate arrangement in colleges for parents at the time of the admission process are some of the issues amongst other key issues that have been raised by the ABVP.

They (ABVP) has brought into the limelight how the admission staff in colleges who were admitting students to the first cut-off were not aware of the rules prescribed by the University. This caused problems in the smooth functioning during the admissions process. Admissions of students were also cancelled due to loopholes in the admission process.

Siddharth Yadav, the State Secretary of ABVP Delhi, said that if the demands are not met within the time period of ten days, then there will be more resolute protests against the administration.

DUSU President Shakti Singh also highlighted the issue of fee hike by saying, “There has been an arbitrary unaccounted fee increase in many DU colleges.” The issue Ramjas College’s fee hike has been previously reported on by DU Beat.

A memorandum to the Dean of Students Welfare had been submitted after the protest ended by the the ABVP delegation.

Attempts have been made by the student organisations so that the DU admission process does not become tedious and burdensome for the students. The true effects of the protests remain to be seen.

Feature Image Credits: Prateek Pankaj for DU Beat

Amrashree Mishra

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With yet another academic session coming to an end at the University of Delhi, it is time to let nostalgia get you over and look back at the year that has gone by before all of us get busy with semester examination preparation and some of us eventually leave to charter their career paths. Going by the thought, DU Beat brings to you its exclusive series ‘Colleges’ Round-Up (2017-18)’ where we present the highlighting incidents of numerous DU colleges that took place over 2017 and 2018.

From a 25% fee hike to rebelling against the Principal, let’s take a journey through the major events that took place at Ramjas College from May 2017-April 2018.

Feature Image Credits: Ramjas College

Radhika Boruah
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Karan Singhania
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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced fee hike concordant with its decision to implement autonomy and the motion for 30% self-attained funding by universities. Such a decision comes at the expense of lakhs of students studying at the University of Delhi (DU). This announcement has caused panic and chaos among the students and parents.

The revised fee structure has been released on the Delhi University website as of 31 March 2018.

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A screengrab from the Univesity of Delhi’s official website.

The official page of the DU can be referred to for other course specific fees. Individual universities have been given the discretion to change independent course fees within a margin of 3% as per university guidelines. The deadline for new fee payment has been set as 25th July 2018, five days post the beginning of the new session.

This news has led to some serious repercussions. Professors in north campus colleges have refused to take classes and are sitting outside with their students in protest.

The teachers are extremely outraged with this decision. A distressed senior professor from Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College ARSD college was quoted as saying, “The government has failed in its responsibility to provide affordable and accessible education to all. Our education system is bringing shame to our country.”

An ad-hoc teacher from Lady Shri Ram College expressed her concerns to us, “Our jobs are in danger. We’d either be fired or never promoted. This brings us to a very difficult position and we are completely against the government’s decision.” A Sanskrit professor from Kamala Nehru College expressed her concerns to us saying, “Students will not be willing to pay such high amounts for courses like Sanskrit, Bengali, Music, B.A. Programme, etc. This would lead to a sad death for liberal arts and sciences.”

All classes in off-campus colleges like Zakir Hussain College have been canceled until further notice.The students are also enraged by this decision and they took to criticise the government on social media.  A distressed student from Motilal Nehru College MLNC said, “I came here to study from Orissa. My parents will not be able to afford my fee now., with this hike. I don’t know how to get this kind of money within the deadline that they’ve given us.”
Students were also seen talking about dropping out or transferring to other universities. A 2nd-year student from Sri Venkateswara College told us that she’d rather study in Himachal University than the Delhi University. A 1st-year psychology honours student from JMC argued that “This will lead to most jobs being concentrated in the commerce sector and it will take away jobs from sectors which already don’t have enough opportunities. Even though I can afford the fee hike, I will not be able to get a job after graduating from this course.”

Panicked parents were also seen outside colleges. A parent said, “I cannot withdraw my daughter’s admission as she has already studied here for two years. I cannot transfer to another college either but it’ll be very hard for me to pay the fee this year.”

We tried to get in touch with officials from the Delhi University, but they remained unavailable for comment. This new will not only impact lakhs of students studying in the Delhi University, but also lakhs wanting to get admission.

With the semester exams approaching, lectures being cancelled, and ongoing protests it’ll be difficult for the Delhi University to end this semester on a good note.

Disclaimer: Bazinga is our weekly column of almost believable fake news. It is only to be appreciated and not accepted!

Feature Image Credits: Digital Learning Magazine

Meher Gill
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Muskan Sethi
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