In a bizarre move, Bangalore University has now asked meritorious students to pay a fee to receive their gold medals!
According to the notification passed, students have to pay an extra amount of Rs 500 along with the regular fee to receive their gold medal and certificate at the 53rd annual convocation ceremony.
The amount has 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.
An official at Pareeksha Bhavan, the University’s administrative wing, confirmed that this new additional fee has been introduced for the first time.
Talking to TNM, a final year law student at the University expressed his disappointment.
“We, as students, never expected anything like this because Rs 500 is peanuts. Even for a small event that is organised, for meetings that staff members hold, thousands of rupees are spent on their food, tea or biscuits. Even a bouquet which is handed over costs Rs 300-400. When they are so extravagant about that, asking students to pay is regrettable,” the student said.
“However, I am hopeful that the decision will be reconsidered, given BU has been behaving like this all these years. Similar controversial decisions have been reconsidered after the media took them up,” the student added.
But, the University may reconsider its move. Speaking to TNM, Professor BK Ravi, the University’s Registrar said that a final decision on this will be taken on Saturday, suggesting the decision may be reversed.
Arathi, a recent gold medallist from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru termed the move as ‘ridiculous’.
"A student works so hard throughout the course and only then becomes eligible for a gold medal. It is ridiculous to ask students to pay an additional fee to get what they deserve," Arathi told TNM.
Niranjanaradhya, Fellow and Programme Head at Universalisation of School Education at the National Law School of India University called Bangalore University's move an ‘insult’.
“If you have to pay money to get medals, then what kind of medal is it?” he asked.
“If you want to really honour and recognise talent, you can’t ask the same person to pay the money. It is, in fact, insulting them. Why can’t the University spend some money to recognise the talent? If there is no fund, then don’t give medals. But why are you asking students to pay for it? This is very unfair,” he said.
During the 52nd convocation ceremony in 2017, only half the deserving students got gold medals, whose names were only released a day before the convocation ceremony.
At the time, BU Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda had proposed that deserving students pay for their medals. He also proposed replacing the gold medals with cash prizes. His reasoning was that the cost of gold was increasing, and bank interest rates were also low.