Panjab University (PU) has recently introduced a new and revised fee hike. It has announced a hike of up to 12.5% in the fees on March 26th, 2017. However, the word of this change hasn’t been approved by the students of the university and those colleges which are affiliated to it.
Protests against fee hike is not a new thing now, the economically weaker students who are affected the most by these decisions have suffered this blow from the university authorities even yesteryear, when a fee hike of 5% was announced on February 15th. Hunger strikes and protest marches were carried out by students and different parties then too to make their disapproval clear to the authorities.
This time, decision regarding the fee hike came on March 26th, 2017 after Arun Kumar Grover, the Vice Chancellor of Punjab University held a meeting to discuss the proposal of rationalizing the fee structure of PU in accordance with the other universities of Punjab. Due to this fee hike, the fee structures for different courses have risen to a terribly high expense. The students of courses such as MBA, LLB, Bsc, Chemical Engineering and Mass Communication are among the ones hit hardest by the fee hike.
The expenses for MBA which was ₹9,400 before have now increased to ₹1,00,000, for LLB (3 year) the increase was from ₹4,000 to ₹25,000; from ₹2,320 to ₹15,000 for Bsc (Hons); from ₹5,920 to ₹30,000 for MA (Journalism) and MA (Humanities) saw an increase from ₹2,440 to ₹10,000. This drastic step has effected the students as well as their parents, making it very hard for them to cope with.
Against it, the protest march was carried out by students of PGGCG-11. A huge crowd was seen on April 5th, 2017, blocking the gates from outside of the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Sector-11. Girls were seen shouting anti-university slogans in unison against the fee hike and against the university administration. The protest which started at the gate of the girls college soon reached the gates of the neighbouring Post Graduate Government College, Sector-11 with the boys joining in and shouting slogans against the university administration. Due to this, the gates of the college were temporarily closed, making it harder for the students to enter and exit the college premises.
This protest march was part of a series of protest by students against the fee hike.
When asked what their motive was and which parties were supporting them, the protesters told that their motive is simple and clear, that the administration takes back this order of fee hike. They said that they did not belong to any party, neither was the protest backed specifically by any single party. The students strongly felt that the terms of the fee hike were inappropriate and insensitive. The demand of the protesting students was clear, i.e the withdrawal of this decision of fee hike.
After protesting outside their respective colleges for a while, the protesters from both the colleges (PGGCG and PGGC) united to march towards the Vice Chancellor’s office at Punjab University, in a bid to protest out his office. A crowd also gathered to bear audience to the protest, and many of the protesting students’ demands resonated with them as well.
It is also being speculated that if the fee structure of the Punjab University is changed, then the affiliated colleges will change their own fee structure soon as well, resulting in higher fees.
About the Author:
Anmol Sandhu (PGGC-11)
About the Photographer:
See the world through my lens and feast your eyes upon thousand words in one moment. Hi! I am Rashi. I am introvert but my camera isn’t.