The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, to which all private and government engineering colleges in Bengal are affiliated, have waived the hostel fees, library and laboratory fees for its in-house students till the resumption of in-person classes.
Those who have already paid the fees will get refunds.
“It is being notified to all concerned that due to pandemic situation arising out of the spread of Covid-19, hostel fees, library and laboratory fees of all in-house students are waived for three months during even semester, 2020 and are being fully waived for odd semester 2020-2021 until further notice,” a notice issued on June 9 by the university’s registrar, Parthapratim Lahiri, said.
An official of the university said the waiver would only apply to the 2,000-odd in-house students, who are enrolled in programmes run directly by the university.
“Fees will be refunded to those who have paid,” said vice-chancellor Saikat Maitra.
He said fees were waived for the three months in the even semester last year —which spanned from January to June — as the students had not availed themselves of the facilities after the lockdown was imposed in March.
“Students are encountering financial constraints as family members have suffered job loss or salary cuts during the continued run of the pandemic. By waiving the fees, we want to help the students as much as possible,” Maitra told Metro on Sunday.
The hostel charge in each semester stands at Rs 9,000. The laboratory and library fees in each semester are Rs 1,000 and Rs 600, respectively.
The university had in October made "half/full’’ refund of the examination fee to “deserving’’ students in the intermediate semesters, following a demand for a waiver on the ground that they were facing financial constraints because of the pandemic. Then, students of the affiliating colleges who were in the second, fourth and sixth semesters demanded a waiver of the exam fee (Rs 1,200 in each semester).
A university official said the financial constraints had worsened with the renewed surge in Covid cases. “The financial hardship has posed such a challenge that students are finding it difficult to pay the bare fees,” the official said.