Education
“If you have to pay money to get medals, then what kind of medal is it?”
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It took media reports and protests from a section of students for sense to prevail within the Bangalore University administration.

The Bangalore University has now decided that the money collected from hardworking and meritorious students to award them gold medals and certificates will be returned.

The decision was taken at the Syndicate meeting held on Wednesday after opposition by parents and students.

“It was a unanimous decision by all the Syndicate members. The university will bear the cost,” the acting Vice-Chancellor Sudesh V said.

The BU in a controversial notification had asked colleges to collect money (Rs 500) from meritorious students for the purpose of their own certificates and medals.

Read: Bangalore Uni asks students to pay additional fee to get their hard-earned medals

The amount had to be paid to the University through a demand draft drawn in favour of the Finance Officer of the University. The University’s Registrar has asked colleges to inform students to apply for the medals and certificates within the date.  

The decision then had sparked strong reactions from academics and students.

Niranjanaradhya, Fellow and Programme Head at Universalisation of School Education at the National Law School of India University had termed the move as an ‘insult’ to hard work.

“If you have to pay money to get medals, then what kind of medal is it?” he had asked.

Speaking to TNM, a student union leader in Bangalore said, “The decision to withdraw the irrational additional fee for awarding gold medal is welcome.”

But said that a reduced funding from the Centre is posing such problems.

“Such kind of measures to charge fees even for a gold medal is a direct fall out of acute fund crunch which has become a universal phenomenon in India, thanks to central government's UGC budget cut,” he said.

The idea was first mooted in 2017 by then BU Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda. During the 52nd convocation ceremony in 2017, only half the deserving students got gold medals due to shortage of funds for the purpose.

He had also proposed awarding cash to students instead of giving them medals in order to manage budget.