College students stage protest over exam fee hike; protest not justified, says RGU registrar

RONO HILLS, 18 Nov: Scores of students from different colleges under Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) staged a protest outside the vice chancellor’s office here on Thursday against the reported hike in examination fee.

The protesting students claimed that they had met with the registrar but could not come to an amicable solution regarding deduction in the end-semester examination fee as per the previous fee structure.

However, RGU Registrar Dr NT Rikam clarified that RGU “has not increased any fee, including examinations, since the last three years,” and that different exam fee structures have been applied for students attending online and offline classes.

“Since classes and examinations were being held online due to the pandemic, the academic council had resolved to relax 60 percent of the fee for intermediate semester students and 40 percent relaxation for terminal semester students in 2020. This fee relaxation is still in place for students attending online classes. The original fee is from 2018-19, as per which the examination fee for non-practical subjects is Rs 700, with an additional Rs 600 for practical subjects, and the mark sheet fee is Rs 250. As such, the total exam fee for non-practical subjects is Rs 950 and the total exam fee for practical subjects is Rs 1,550. These fees have been applicable for two academic sessions and were reduced only during the pandemic,” he said.

“Now, when physical classes have begun in colleges with physical exams as well, we are collecting the original fee from the colleges. The university is still conducting online classes, so the university students are paying reduced fee rates. This has already been explained to the students,” the registrar said.

He also informed that the vice chancellor held a virtual meeting with college authorities and principals on Wednesday, “who unanimously voiced that if there are physical classes then they would conduct physical exams as well.”

“They were against online exams,” the registrar said.

Regarding concession in fees for practical-based subjects, it was decided that 15 percent or Rs 100 (whichever is higher) would be reduced from the total exam fee.

“The exam form application process is largely completed in most colleges. The protest today is not justified,” Dr Rikam said.

Further, he said that the grievances of the students have been heard by the university authority from time to time “but the unreasonable and unjustified demand could not be entertained.”

“It is pertinent to mention that RGU is charging the lowest examination fee in comparison to all other universities of Northeast India,” he said, and expressed hope that good sense would prevail, so as to ensure smooth and successful conduct of the end-semester examination.