student protestEducation

Diwali for a Ayurvedic College Student in Uttrakhand

Uttarakhand Ayurved University (UAU) students are protesting for over 27 days against the almost three-fold hike in fees of the private Ayurvedic Medical Colleges. According to the protesting students, most of these colleges are owned BJP ministers including State Ayush Minister Harak Singh Rawat. This is not a new fight for these students, it’s been there in the system from 2015.

78f1db 0fa28568ca404db0924b656bdf604e02~mv2 Diwali for a Ayurvedic College Student in Uttrakhand
78f1db 395e86c9ba874b1880b4d8b64cc96441~mv2 Diwali for a Ayurvedic College Student in Uttrakhand
78f1db 2a37bf1964244414986834256ed4db54~mv2 Diwali for a Ayurvedic College Student in Uttrakhand
78f1db dfb844ed80b843fb856d300d99b47d62~mv2 Diwali for a Ayurvedic College Student in Uttrakhand
78f1db 927bd82c3bc149e4b534edfc0d958e6e~mv2 Diwali for a Ayurvedic College Student in Uttrakhand

According to a Times of India report, Lalit Tiwari, one of the protesting students claimed that private Ayurvedic colleges, owned by BJP ministers like Harak Singh Rawat, have hiked the Bachelor courses’ fees by as much as three to four times. The fee was Rs 80,000 per year till 2014-15 but was increased to Rs 2.15 lakh in 2015-16, violating the fee fixation committee rules. They approached the court against this matter and the HC last year had ordered college authorities to refund the hiked fee, none of the colleges have followed the directive so far.

The protesting students claimed that the colleges did not comply even after the HC issued a contempt notice to Ayurvedic colleges for not revoking the old fee structure. The students alleged the university is neither allowing them to sit in the classes nor is it accepting the back paper examination forms. Students also claimed that universities and Colleges are directly warning them that if the strike continues then they won’t be allowed to sit in exams.

Meanwhile, two protesting students Lalit Tiwari and Kamal Kumar who sustained injuries in the scuffle with cops are undergoing treatment at Doon Hospital. “Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, AYUSH minister Harak Singh Rawat, and even Baba Ramdev they all have stakes (directly or indirectly) in various Ayurvedic colleges. This is why the state government is taking no action to address our issues,” said Lalit, one of the students on protest.

One can literally see the monopoly of these private institutes that how they are playing with the future doctors of the county. This is just not a subject of fees hike. It stands against all the rules and morals. How a third-year student is supposed to pay a fee hike for his first two years too? Ayurved Bachelors’ degree or BAMS course duration is four and a half years, then how the students are charged a fee of five-year tenure? The students are sitting on strikes and focusing on how to get justice for themselves. They are handling everything from authorities’ tantrum to police actions. While they should be in their classrooms focusing on their studies and future. Students want to talk this whole matter down with facts but no one is ready to listen to them neither the government nor the concerned authorities.

Seriously are these private colleges not even afraid of Supreme Court? Is this seriously going to be the future of our education system? How much money of big politicians is involved in these colleges? When will the government break their silence? All these questions need a solid answer or this will become the black dot in our education system.

Country Wide Institutional Fee Hike(as quoted by TOI)

In July 2019, A massive fee hike in TISS Hyderabad had forced students to drop out of the courses. The shifting of the management of hostel facilities to private service providers had led to the fee being hiked from Rs 15,000 to Rs 54,000 per semester. This left many students in conundrum. TISS, which recently opened its Hyderabad campus has been operating from the Telangana State Institute of Panchayat Raj and Rural Development (TSIPARD) Campus in Rajendranagar. The protest began on July 8 when several students went on a hunger strike. The students demanded a roll-back of fee hike as well as to set up a proper mechanism for fee payment for the post-matric scholarship (PMS) holders. The scholarship is granted by the Union government to students belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) category and has a family income of less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.

Jawaharlal Nehru University, in another instance, also left many foreign students in shock, when it hiked the fees by 100 percent. Under JNU’s new fee policy for International students, the fee saw a 100 percent raise for the in-absentia category. Due to this, almost 40 Tibetan refugee students residing in India who cleared the Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Examination (JNUEE) this year could not take admission because of the steep fee hike. 

Under JNU’s new fee policy for International students, along with a 100 percent raise for the in-absentia category, the fees saw a striking 1400 percent (courses in Science Disciplines) and 900 percent (courses in Humanities and Social Science) rise for foreign students. In Delhi University as well as many colleges’ recent fee hike lead students to stage a hunger strike. Many colleges, including Ramjas College, St Stephen’s College, Sri Venkateshwara College, and SGTB Khalsa College, revised their fee structures from the current academic year, citing the shortage of funds.

The colleges introduced a hike ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000. In Gargi College, the fee or BA (Hons) Business Economics increased to Rs 41,220 from the previous amount of Rs 26,875. As per the guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) draft notification 2017, the central universities and colleges were asked to follow the 70:30 funding formula, where 30% was the internal revenues of universities and colleges. 

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