Many Delhi University (DU) colleges are set to revise their fee structure for undergraduate courses from this year citing “insufficient funds”. While some colleges have already conducted their staff council meetings to discuss the issue, many have constituted committees for the revision.
For instance, Ramjas College decided to revise its fee in its staff council meeting held in April. According to the minutes of the meeting, the fee has been revised under several heads. The annual infrastructure maintenance fee has been revised from last year’s ₹1,500 to ₹3,500. While annual function and students orientation fee was revised by a minimum of ₹50, the development fee has increased by ₹500.
Ramjas College principal Manoj Khanna said that the revision was done after holding due consultations with all departments. “We tried to keep the revision to as less as possible. It was necessary for developing the infrastructure in our college. Our fee is still on the lower side when compared to other DU college. We have not made any changes in the tuition fee though,” he said.
Bharti College principal Mukti Sayal said that the institution’s governing body (GB) has not allowed them to change the fee expect for one course.
“Though we had proposed to change the fee but the governing body did not allow that. We have not been getting enough funds in the last few years. We have managed to make a nominal change of ₹300 in BA (hons) in Psychology, because we have to get psychological tests. These tests can’t get photocopied as their is copyrights issue,” she said.
Sayal, however, said that the college is planning to get sponsorships to run the co-curricular activities societies. “The cultural societies can work through sponsorship if required because we don’t have sufficient funds to spend on them. We will ask the members of these societies to find sponsors,” she said.
SGTB Khalsa College is also revising its fee. College principal Jaswinder Singh said that a committee is working on revising the fee and the matter will soon be sent for the governing body’s approval. “Things have become even tougher for science colleges because there is a lot of maintenance cost of laboratories. We are unable to manage that with whatever funds we receive.We are working on it and we will try it keep the fee revision to as minimal as possible,” he said.
St Stephen’s College has also increased its annual fee by 6 % and residential fee by 9 % this year. Stephen’s principal John Verghese did not respond for a comment.
Principal of Sri Venkateswara College Hemalatha Reddy said that the college will revise the annual fee by 10%. “The cost of maintenance have been increasing every year but the funds we receive remain the same. We have also been asked to generate more internal funds. We have decided to revise the fee by a nominal 10% under different heads,” she said. The college presently charge ₹12,000 to ₹14,000 annually for the undergraduate courses it offers.
According to the University Grants Commission (UGC) draft notification 2017, the central universities/colleges were asked to follow 70:30 funding formula, of which, 30% was the internal
revenues of universities/colleges.
When contacted, a senior official in the UGC said that the draft notification makes it clear that the commission will pay more than 70%, in case the university/college failed to generate 30% internal resources. “The colleges need not panic. The UGC will release funds whenever there is requirement. They can reach out to the commission,” the official said.
A senior DU official said that the administration was “unaware” of colleges considering a fee revision. “It might be a routine revision by the colleges. We will look into the matter,” the official said.
Rajesh Jha, member of the university’s executive council (EC) and an associate professor at Rajdhani College, said, “These might be nominal changes for the colleges and a section of students, but a large chunk of students who come from marginalised sections of the society will get affected by it. There are students in my college who can’t even afford travelling without student passes.
The increase will be additional burden on such students,” he said.