Allahabad University students stage a protest march with torches in hand on Thursday in Lucknow. According to reports, students have staged protests in the past 15 days after the notification from Allahabad University’s top decision-making body approved the decision to raise fees for various courses on August 31.
The students motivated their protest by stating that the decision would deprive a large number of students of the opportunity to study at a top university such as Allahabad University, as students from a socio-economic background weaker would not be able to meet the higher fees. .
In the proposed fee hike, the annual fees for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce were Rs 975, which increased to Rs 3,701, per month. While the annual fees for Bachelor of Science (BSc) and BSc (Medical Laboratory Technology) have risen to Rs 4,151 and Rs 3,951, respectively. The annual fee of B.tech has also been increased from Rs 1,941 to Rs 5,151.
The protests held at Allahabad University were led by the student political party Chhatrasangh Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti. Initially, the movement began when students from various courses gathered on campus to protest the university for raising fees. Later, protesting students also resorted to fasting to seek change.
The students, while demanding the withdrawal of the proposed new fees, also demanded the reimbursement of fees charged for hostels and the mess, which were not used during the pandemic.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had asked all universities and colleges to promptly refund hostel and mess fees charged during the pandemic or adjust them to other fees and warned against any action. if instructions are not followed.
Allahabad University Vice Chancellor Sangita Srivastava justified the fee hike by saying that the monthly fee at AU over the past 110 years was 12 rupees. But now, in order to pay electricity bills and other maintenance costs, a hike in the fees was highly anticipated.
The college administration also claimed that the government had given clear instructions that the university should generate funds and reduce its dependence on public funds.
Protesting university students explained that if the university does not reverse the decision, nearly 50% of students will be forced to drop out as many students come from low socio-economic backgrounds who will not be able to cope with the new tariff structure.