19 Jun 2019
Several DU colleges increase annual fee for UG courses
According to media reports, several colleges affiliated to the Delhi University (DU) have revised their fee structure for the undergraduate courses.
Earlier this month, reports of a probable fee hike had surfaced and now, the 2019-20 admission brochure has the updated fee structure.
One of the major reasons behind the increase in the fee cited by the colleges is lack of funds.
Fee hiked depending on the course's requirement
Although, among various courses, a minimum increase of Rs. 2,000 is reported, the amount varies for different courses depending on the requirement.
The average fee hike in Aryabhatta College, Bhaskaracharya College for Applied Sciences, Delhi College for Arts and Commerce, Deshbandhu College, Hindu College, Indraprastha College for Women, Miranda House, Motilal Nehru College and Ramjas College was reported between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 3,500.
Highest fee hike for BA (Hons) Business Economics course
The highest hike probably was for BA (Hons) Business Economics, Gargi College.
The fee for the course has gone up by over Rs. 14,000 from last year (Rs. 26,875).
As a result, students will now have to pay Rs. 41,220 annually for the course.
Alongside, other courses at the college have also seen a minimum hike of Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3,000 this year.
Not getting any grants from the University, says principal
While talking to Hindustan Times, Principal of Gargi college, Promila Kumar, said, "The University has approved BA (Hons) in Business Economics as a self-finance course this year and that's why we have revised its fee."
Kumar added, "We have to generate our own funds to pay salary to teachers besides other expenses. We are not getting any grant from the university for the course."
'Departmental activities and lab maintenance' reasons for fee hike
Further, the Science colleges cited departmental activities and maintenance as reasons for hike.
Manoj Sinha, Principal of Aryabhatta College, said, "Being a science college, we need funds to maintain laboratories as well."
Although the laboratory fee was increased last year, nominal changes are made "to meet the rising maintenance cost".
So now, BSc (Hons) Mathematics will cost Rs. 15,230, which was Rs. 10,650 earlier.
Lack of additional funds from UGC also obstructing new courses
Notably, the colleges had held meetings with the staff before coming to this conclusion.
While some colleges said that the hike is just a part of 'routine revision,' many cited lack of funds as the reason.
This issue isn't new.
In January, a report stated that lack of additional funds from the UGC stops several colleges from starting new courses and accommodating more students.
UGC suggested to adopt self-financing model for new courses
The UGC, on the other hand, had reportedly suggested that the colleges could adopt the self-financing model to start new courses.
To this, DU officials replied that "there cannot be a dual fee structure in the same university."
"We are a centrally funded institution and keep course fees nominal. How then can we start similar courses at higher fees?" officials asked.
'Drastic cut in UGC grants has brought such a situation'
Meanwhile, Rajesh Jha, a member of the executive council of the Delhi University, has strongly condemned the fee hike, and has demanded a rollback.
"The drastic cut in UGC grants has brought such a situation. Just imagine what will happen when we will be forced to take loan from HEFA. The result will be students' fees in lakhs to repay the loans," he added.
And, what is HEFA?
HEFA or the Higher Education Financing Agency is a MHRD, Government of India initiative, in partnership with Canara Bank.
It provides investments to the premier educational institutes for creating high-class infrastructure and other capital assets.
With lack of funds from the UGC, it is highly likely that colleges will soon have to turn towards HEFA.