Delhi University has decided to increase the annual university development fee charged by students in view of the reduction in capital grants by the UGC, as per the official authorities. After this, students will witness a steep hike in the fees for students. The university development fee (UDF) is a component of the annual fees charged by students.
According to the team, a university development fund committee has to consider the allocation of funds for various activities like the construction of new buildings and the procurement of laboratory equipment. Presently, the university is receiving only Rs 600 per student per year as a UDF contribution, which was implemented from the academic year 2012-13.
Now, the university has decided to revise the fund requirement. The amount has been revised to Rs 900 per student. The committee’s recommendations were accepted in the varsity’s Executive Council meeting held on December 17 despite dissent by a few members.
The committee, comprising former pro-vice-chancellor PC Joshi and registrar Vikas Gupta, said that the UGC is not releasing sufficient capital grants to the university for laboratory equipment and other equipment for the last three to four years, and in the current financial year allocated Rs 1.25 crore.
“With this very small amount, the university is not able to purchase even a single laboratory equipment for departments. The departments are regularly pursuing providing funds for replacement/purchase of laboratory equipment for academic and other research activities,” the panel noted.
Panellists’ point of view
Executive Council member Seema Das said, “Earlier, this development fund as collected by students, was treated by the university as an emergency fund. As in every household, some amount of money is never touched and kept for difficult times, this UDF has been like this.”
Now, “forcing” the university to draw from UDF for infrastructure and development will make things difficult for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, and economically weaker section students, Das said.
“This will force a steep hike in students’ fees,” an executive council member said. Rajesh Jha, a political science professor, and former Executive Council member, said this move is like the university “testing waters” for implementing a fee hike.
“The fee hike is for a small amount but the university is seeing how this will impact students. The committee has noted that there is a shortage of grants from the UGC,” he added.
Courtesy – IndiaToday