Srinagar: Believe it or not, the University of Kashmir has asked the newly promoted students to pay admission and exam fees despite not holding regular classes for the last one year.
Kashmir University promoted around 14000 students post-graduate and students of selected professional under-graduate courses to the next semester on the performance of their internal assessment.
After promoting them to next semester, the varsity administration has asked students to submit their exam as well as the admission fee.
This is despite the fact that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has urged universities and colleges not to insist upon immediate payment of tuition and exam fees given the financial hardship being faced by students due to the coronavirus lockdown.
“If need be, the universities and colleges may also consider individual requests from students received if any, concerning payment of fee, in a considerate manner, keeping in view the present COVID-I9 pandemic,” the UGC had said.
Students have reacted strongly to the varsity diktat saying most of them are from poor and middle-class backgrounds.
“Most of the students are from a business background. Since August last year, our parents have not earned anything. Our semester fee is around Rs 30,000 and it varies from one department to department. Admission fee includes building charges, internet charges which students have not availed since last year. We cannot afford to pay such a huge amount in one time,” said a postgraduate student studying at Kashmir University’s main campus.
He said that the online examinations were conducted in June. Students bore the expenses including internet bills and stationery items and no resources of the university were used.
“Students are being asked to pay examination fees for that same exam in which no resources of University were availed. The examination fee is around Rs 2,000. Self-finance students have to pay Rs 50,000 admission fees,” said a B. Tech student from Zukra campus.
An official at Kashmir University said that the students of government employees do not have any issues with regard to fees.
“Authorities should consider the fee relaxation of those students who cannot afford to pay the fee. The varsity should allow students to pay a fee in installments because students cannot pay it at once,” the official said.
Registrar of Kashmir University Dr. Nisar Ahmad Mir said they have framed a committee headed by the dean of academic affairs to look into the issue. “The committee is looking into the issue of charging admission as well as examination fee. Since the decision will be uniform and conscientious. It will take two weeks to announce the decision,” he said