Students in Bihar demand Fee Waiver from Universities,move to NHRC
Intern, Legal Angles Patna
Osama Khursheed a student leader of the Patna University has demanded to waive off the fee of the students and wrote a representation letter to the Registrar of the Patna University to revoke the fee and a Students Rights Activist associated with the All India Students Federation (AISF) Bihar has moved to the National Human Rights Commission against the demand of fee from the students of Central University of South Bihar.
Central University of South Bihar, Gaya and Patna University are the two most prominent universities run and operated by the government. Both of these institutions have demanded fee from their students by issuing certain notices.
Firstly, Osama Khursheed says that he seeks the attention of Patna University towards the course fee for the undergraduate/postgraduate Programmes for the academic year of 2020-2021 and has requested them to waive of the increment of such course fees , and provide the students and their parents some relief. He further pleads the authority to revise and issue a fresh direction on the fee structure for the academic year 2020 -2021 as previously.
Secondly, an student right activist associated with All India Student Federation, Bihar raised an issue of the demand of semester fee before the National Human Rights Commission. He wishes to draw the attention towards the issue of inability of a large number of students in paying the semester fees due to various unforeseeable economic restraints which emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown. A large number of parents of the students have lost their jobs which has affected their earning. Also , the fee that is being charged is on such categories( like laboratory fee , athletic fee , library fee , field visit fee etc. )which the resourceswas not available to the students to avail during the online classes.
Legal Angles Patna team contacted Advocate Vishal Kumar Singh of the Patna High Court, he said that “There is no reason being provided that why students have to pay their semester fee even in this pandemic...one of the main purpose of setting up government operated educational institutions was to ensure that the education system reaches to the poorest of the poor. Educational Institutions especially those which are owned and operated by the Government cannot be allowed act as profit making entities. If such institutions are demanding fee and threatening that those who won't pay the fee will be debarred from attending the online classes, then it’s nothing but an injustice being done with the unprivileged students. Today these institutions are demanding academic and other fees, tomorrow they will demand hostel and mess fee. How can the administration be so insensitive? A large number of students who cannot afford for private education go for studies in these institutions. If the public institutions will deny them, where will they go?”
When asked are you planning to move court on this issue? Advocate Vishal responded, “It’s upto the students to decide but definitely, we cannot sit idle and allow anarchy to take over.”
Today, everyone in some or the other way is affected by COVID-19, and it is our moral duty to help each other in such situations. So , the concerned members of the Patna University and The Central University of South Bihar should understand the problems which the families of the students might be facing . They should be flexible in their conduct and must not put burden on the concerned families. There are families who want their children to get educated but at the same time it’s even hard for them to survive in such conditions.
Read the letters and complaint sent to NHRC here: