Fee hike: Nirma University engineering students demand rollback

Signs of protest in the Nirma University

The first and second-year students accompanied by a few third-year and fourth-year students of Bachelors of Technology and other technical courses at the Institute of Technology, Nirma University, continued their intense agitation against the 'unreasonable' hike in the annual tuition fee for the second day on Tuesday in the campus. More than 200 opinionated students from different courses staged a dramatic dharna outside the university campus, demanding that the hike in the fee paid by students towards tuition fee is withdrawn. The unsmoothed university has increased the tuition fee from Rs 13,000 to Rs 55,000 and asked the students to pay the difference of the amount of the previous years as arrears towards the tuition fee.However, there is no increase in the fee for the third-year and fourth-year students which are viewed as partial by the differently affected students who oppose such a hike in their tuition fee. The students alleged that the management had forcibly procured them in writing at the time of admission that they would have to pay the difference in the case of any increase in tuition fee in future which is viewed as absolutely unethical by the students so affected by the 'unreasonable' hike in tuition.

 Matter gets out of hand

A senior university official of the Nirma University said that the fee had been hiked because the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) of the state government had decided to hike the tuition fee for the first year students and second year students but not the third year students and fourth year students. He said that the university had demanded the hike to Rs 1.57 lakh for Bachelors of Technology and Bachelors of Pharmacy courses two years ago but the Fee Regulatory Committee fixed it at Rs 73,000 for all the students that are, first-year students, second-year students, third-year students and fourth-year students. The Nirma university then moved to the honourable Gujarat High Court seeking hike in tuition fee for the first year and second year students but not the third year and fourth year students, due to increase in expenditure in the teacher's salary and other infrastructure facilities which will be used by these students itself.

 Issue becomes legal concern

But the honourable Gujarat High Court rejected the plea of the Nirma University. Later, the honourable Supreme court of India referred the matter to the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC), which decided the annual fee on behalf of the students of the Nirma University, The Government of India and the Nirma University itself. While the Nirma University's executive registrar D P Chhaya could not be contacted despite repeated efforts which went in vain, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad representative Ravi Desai, who is spearheading the agitation,was available for comment and said that the Nirma university had requested them to suspend the agitation till July 26, which they have, by when the management of the Nirma university would take a unanimous decision on the behalf of the students demand and will strive to satisfy all the stakeholders of this issue to the maximum and close the matter and move on to the normal course of functioning.

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