RGU’s MA students to boycott admission

RONO HILLS, Aug 27: The MA third semester students of computer applications (MCA), mass communication and zoology departments of Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) have decided to boycott the admission process of this semester, following the bleak response received from the RGU authorities with regard to fee concession for the semester.

The students here said that they followed all procedures while seeking fee concession for the particular semester and submitted separate representations to the VC and the registrar, highlighting the financial difficulties faced by them and their families due to the Covid-9 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.

They said that they had to take the drastic measure since “there was no clear-cut response on the fee concession from RGU, and the date of admission is coming to an end on Friday.”

The MCA third semester students pointed out that their regular fee includes Rs 14,235 as ‘recurring fee’ for ‘annual/odd semester’ and Rs 9,890 as ‘recurring fees every semester’ and the total amounts to Rs 24,125.

The students highlighted that “MTech/MCA fees are the same, but only MTech is AICTE approved,” and therefore suggested reducing the fees of MCA “down an applicable amount.”

They also pointed out that “the experience of online classes was not satisfactory in the second semester” and expressed concern over a probable similar experience in the third semester.

“It is tough for the students to pay such a huge amount in the time of pandemic as we are all financially unstable. Most of the students have had a difficult time managing expenses ever since the lockdown was announced. The economic stress on families has increased due to the Covid-19 lockdown,” they said.

The third semester students pursuing MSc in zoology also requested RGU to look into the matter of the hike in admission fees, considering that classes will be held online.

“We cannot even go for field trips or perform any practicals this new semester, and it isn’t right to take fees for those reasons,” they said, and highlighted how poor network connectivity in far-flung areas has affected online classes.

Informing that the department has seen a hike in the fee structure, the MSc zoology students said, “We believe that the current hike in fee structure is too harsh and unfair during this time due to the economic downfall of most of the parents, and improper education system,” and requested the vice chancellor to reconsider the fee structure and make it more affordable.

Meanwhile, the MA third semester students of the English department and the BEd department have also submitted letters to the RGU VC, seeking fee concession.

The BEd students highlighted the UGC notice regarding fee structure for universities dated 27 May, 2020.

“It is requested that, in view of the prevailing extraordinary difficult circumstances, universities and colleges may consider the matter regarding payment of annual/semester fee, tuition fee, examination fee, etc, sympathetically and, if feasible, may consider offering alternative payment options to students till the situation returns to normal. If need be, the universities and colleges may also consider individual requests from students, received if any, concerning payment of fee, in a considerate manner, keeping in view the present Covid-I9 pandemic,” part of the UGC notification reads.

Students of the English department highlighted the financial difficulties faced during the lockdown and the lack of proper online classes in the second semester, and sought a fee concession on compassionate grounds.

Earlier, on Monday, the mass communication department had submitted a letter for fee concession.

On Wednesday, they were informed by the RGU authority that “fee concession is not a possibility at the moment and a board meeting would be required if the fee structure is to be reconsidered.”

The students also submitted a similar representation to the RGU Students’ Union (RGUSU), which met with the RGU authorities on Thursday.

The union placed the grievances of the students but was reportedly not given a positive response and was told that “the fees are as per the prospectus of 2018-19.”

The RGUSU said that it will submit an appeal letter by Friday and find out if nearby universities have considered fee concession, considering the pandemic.

The admission for RGU students was scheduled for 20 to 28 August, as per the notification. However, the admission link was made available on 25 August.