Pondicherry Uni issues deadline to pay semester fees, draws flak from students union

The union says many students may not be able to pay the fees within the given deadline due to loss of livelihood in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pondicherry Uni issues deadline to pay semester fees, draws flak from students union
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The Pondicherry University has informed students to pay the semester fees for this academic year during the middle of the pandemic. The move has drawn criticism among students who demand the government to revoke the call for paying fees.

In a circular issued by the institution on July 13, the Pondicherry University has given a last date of August 19 to pay semester fee without fine. The institution has also given a deadline till August 31 to pay the semester fee with fine.

The president of the Student Federation of India, Puducherry region, Jayaprakash K Vinnarasan said, “The Central government and the University are conducting exams and collecting fees without consulting us. We tried to speak to them but they are not paying heed. You should not force the students to pay fees. Already two years back, the college increased the fees from Rs 16,000 to Rs 20,000. We are already protesting against the hike and now during pandemic they are asking us to pay semester fees. So we are planning to protest on Friday and move the High Court on the issue.”

The collection of college fees comes a few days after the students were told to pay the exam fees for the previous semester. The exam fee is usually collected before the exam for getting credits and marksheets.

A student of Pondicherry University said, “They are telling us to pay fees for an exam that we did not even write. The administration provided us marks based on the results for internal assessments. Then why are they charging us exam fees?”

He said, “The institution is demanding semester fees in the middle of the pandemic which may lead to dropout of many students. A middle class student can bear the amount but students from underprivileged backgrounds cannot pay the fees considering the loss of livelihood for many people.”

Already, he said, “The University started a concept of bus fees a few months back and the initiative forced a girl to drop out of college.  The parents of the girl told her to stop going to college owing to financial issues. After a series of protests by students unions, the university revoked the bus fees of over Rs 8,000.”

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