Calcutta University will henceforth collect all sort of fees, including late fees and penalties, from its students through online mode only marking a paradigm technological leap for an institution, adjacent to the much younger Presidency University, often blamed for being stuck in a time warp.
Senior officials of the university listed several factors like doing away with long queues at the cash counters, preventing students from missing their classes on the pretext of queueing up to pay their fees, introducing transparency and freeing up the already depleting man-power which prompted the university to migrate to the online mode which has come into effect from this month. The university will for the time being keep conducting offline transactions for non-fees purposes, said a senior official.
“Henceforth all sort of fees from students across all our campuses will be accepted through online mode only. This means they can pay via the debit card, the credit card or net banking. This includes late fees, penalties and even examination fees,” said the official.
The university which was founded in 1857 has often drawn flak for not adapting to the changing technology and teaching methods whether failing to modernise the examination system and introducing modern teaching and learning methods or shifting to online mode of payment across its campuses. Presidency University and St Xavier’s University Kolkata accept fees through the online mode only.
“It was becoming difficult to collect the fees at the cash counters due to the ever-increasing queues and the dwindling man power. This would often result in arguments between the students and the personnel at the counter collecting the fees. There is currently man power shortage of almost 50 percent in the non-teaching departments of the university and it was becoming difficult to collect the fees offline,” said an official of the accounts department.
A professor said that online mode of fees payment will also prevent some students from missing their classes on the pretext of waiting in the queue to pay their fees. “Often students would complain that they are missing some of their classes because of the long queues at the cash counters. The shift to online mode will help students attend their classes,” said the professor who teaches in the Rajabazar Science College Campus
Calcutta University has 14 campuses across the city with thousands of students enrolled in courses offered by the university. A senior official of CU said state government’s decision to conduct all admissions and payments of fees has also prompted the university to shift to the online mode of fees collection. “The entire admission process to undergraduate and post graduate courses will be conducted online. This means that even the admission fees will also be paid online. This has prompted the university to put in place the infrastructure to collect fees online,” said the official.