RGUSU demands fee concession, extension of admission date

Staff Reporter

RONO HILLS, Aug 30: The Rajiv Gandhi University Students’ Union (RGUSU) has demanded that the RGU authorities provide concession on admission fees to the students, as well as extend the admission dates for this semester.

Addressing reporters at its university office, RGUSU president Dopum Sonam on Sunday said that the union came to the decision after meeting with students from various departments who were unhappy with the lukewarm response of the RGU authorities towards their demand for fee concession.

He said the RGUSU met with Vice Chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha on 28 August after some departments boycotted the admission process, but was given a negative response.

“We tried to place the grievances of the students and the boycott on admission by some departments, but the VC instead said that those who went for boycott have endangered their degrees,” Sonam informed.

He also said that the second semester saw only a few interactive classes but the students paid the full fees, including departments that have practicals. There has also been a hike in the admission fee.

“The authorities said the fees are as per the prospectus of 2018-19, but the students learnt of the fee hike when they started filling up the admission forms. Instead of facilitating students and decreasing the fees in such times, the university has instead hiked the fees,” Sonam said.

He informed that a similar protest had been held last year when the students learnt that the fees did not tally with the one mentioned in the prospectus, and the fees were subsequently reduced.

“The RGU authorities should charge the admission fees as last year’s and provide concession since classes may be limited to the digital platform instead of interactive classes and practicals/field activities, and also due to the lockdown and lack of economic activity. Many students have also used and will be using their own resources in the second and third semesters, respectively,” he said.

“We will submit a final ultimatum of 24 hours to the RGU authorities and appeal to them to look into the matter of fee concession and extension of admission dates. However, if the authorities do not consider the appeal, we will resort to a non-stop democratic movement,” Sonam said.

Earlier on Sunday, the RGUSU held a meeting, during which students shared their reasons for seeking a fee concession for the current semester, which include, but are not limited to, financial difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown; disparity in access to the internet and online classes during the second semester, which may continue in the third semester; lack of proper infrastructure, fee hike, delay in refunds, etc.

Sonam said many also pointed out that they are yet to receive the hostel fee refund as assured by the RGU, and that several students were charged twice or thrice while filling up the examination fees due to technical issues in the link provided by the university, and that they too are yet to receive their refunds.

The RGUSU said it has received support from the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, which it said assured to stand by the student community.

Earlier, the MA third semester students of the departments of computer applications, mass communication and zoology had boycotted the admission process after the RGU authorities failed to address their demand for concession on the admission fees.

The BEd department and those pursuing masters in English at the university had also submitted representations to the RGU, explaining the reasons for seeking concession.

Students of some departments also claimed that their plea letters for fee concession were not accepted by the RGU.

The RGU authorities had on Wednesday informed the students 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 admission for RGU students was scheduled from 20 to 28 August.