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Delhi University fee hike fear

The University Grants Commission has asked colleges under Delhi University to state how much funds they can raise internally, triggering fears that tuition fees could be hiked.

Our Special Correspondent   |     |   Published 10.07.17, 12:00 AM

New Delhi, July 9: The University Grants Commission has asked colleges under Delhi University to state how much funds they can raise internally, triggering fears that tuition fees could be hiked.

In letters sent to the colleges, the UGC asked them to make an estimate of the financial implications of adopting the 7th Pay Commission scale and state how much can be met from internal resources.

Earlier this year, the finance ministry had said the autonomous institutions would have to bear at least 30 per cent of the additional expenditure on account of the implementation of the revised pay scale.

The government is yet to notify the 7th Pay Commission package for university and college teachers. But it is likely to increase the basic salary by 15 to 20 per cent.

Teachers have criticised the UGC order. They say the order will prompt colleges to enhance their tuition fees, which are nominal now.

"The colleges have no scope of generating funds other than by passing the burden on to students. So the tuition fees could be increased. The poor students will be the worst sufferers," said Rajesh Jha, a member of the DU executive council.

He said the teacher members of the academic and executive councils of the university would oppose the decision.

"We strongly demand the withdrawal of the UGC letter. This letter to the DU colleges will push them further towards privatisation, commercialisation and contractualisation," Jha said.

He said 80 per cent of students seeking admission to DU were from poor and lower middle class families.

Now, the DU colleges charge around a few hundred rupees a year as tuition fee.

A functionary of the DU Teachers' Association (DUTA) said the Centre had launched a drive to cut down on funding to institutions.

He said the UGC had reduced the number of fellowships and the amount of funds it gave to institutions.

The National Eligibility Test conducted to award Junior Research Fellowship has not been held so far this year. Usually, it is held in the middle of a year.

Many apprehend that the appointment of teachers could become irregular. Now, half of DU's staff are appointed on an ad-hoc basis. The colleges may have to manage their academic affairs by hiring contractual faculty, Richa Raj, a DUTA executive, said.

Around 70 colleges are affiliated to DU, of which 20-odd are funded by the Delhi government.

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