MA students protest lab fees in Lucknow
Students have threatened to go on a hunger strike on the Lucknow University campus if the administration doesn’t withdraw its decision to charge Rs 1,000 as laboratory fees even from MA students.
“The overall fees for MA courses have been increased by Rs 1,000 from this session. This is being charged from the students in the name of laboratory fees. Besides several social science subjects, the students of Urdu, Hindi and English literature have also been asked to pay this laboratory fees though they don’t need the laboratory,” said Vishal Singh, coordinator of the LU unit of National Students Union of India (NSUI) on Saturday.
For the first semester, the total fee charged by the Lucknow University from students of sociology, political science, English, Hindi and Urdu is Rs 5,120, which includes Rs 1,000 from this session as the laboratory charge.
On Friday, the NSUI, All India Students Association and Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha took out a procession on the campus against the decision.
“We had also met the university authorities on Friday but didn’t get any conclusive reply. Some students have already paid the laboratory fees but a majority of us have decided to oppose it and force the authorities to withdraw their decision,” said Singh, a first-year student of MA (sociology).
Nikhil Kumar, district vice-president of AISA and a first-year student of MA (political science), said: “We have given an ultimatum of three days to the university authorities and would sit on a hunger strike at the Student Union Hall if they don’t withdraw the decision.”
LU registrar Sanjay Medhavi confirmed that the agitating students had met the university authorities.
“We are reviewing the decision and would take a call soon. We will adjust the extra charge of Rs 1,000 in the next session in case we withdraw the decision of taking laboratory fee from those who don’t have such facility,” Medhavi told The Telegraph.
Asked how they could take such a decision, Medhavi said: “We had decided to develop computer rooms for students and this amount was added to their fees for the same purpose. But we couldn’t do so in this academic year.”
NSUI’s Singh said: “We want the university to notify their decision of withdrawal of the said laboratory fees. We don’t trust their assurances. They are of the habit of making false promises. We pay Rs 300 for cyber library annually but there is poor Internet connectivity. We mostly connect to the computers with hotspot in our mobile phones. They have been assuring us of installing a better server for better connectivity but nothing has happened till date. However, they are charging Rs 300 from the students.”