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News Panjab University Fee Hike Protest Goes Violent, Know The Full Incident

Panjab University Fee Hike Protest Goes Violent, Know The Full Incident

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Panjab University has been in the headlines for the last month as students boycott classes on Tuesday morning, calling for a bandh. The situation turned tense as the state police resorted to water cannons to control the protesters who were pelting stones. The police also used tear gas and a number of people got injured on both sides.

The student leaders sought refuge in a Gurudwara located on the varsity campus. Subsequently, the police entered the Gurudwara with lathis but did not enter its sanctum sanctorum.

Why students are protesting?

The agitation by the student groups started on March 26 after the PU senate approved fee hike by 12.5 percent for all courses of university departments and its regional centres for the 2017-18 session. PU instituted a hike of 5 per cent on its fee last year also.

This implies that the fees for the new academic session starting from July will see a minimum increase of Rs 2,000 and a maximum increase of Rs 82,000 approximately, depending on the course.

Several student organisation – Students for Society (SFS), the National Student Union of India (NSUI), the Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) and the Students Organisation of India (SOI), have been leading protests, along with the students, against the fee hike.

Political student bodies including ABVP and NSUI have declared indefinite hunger strikes until the PU authorities reverse the proposed hike and agree to reassess policy decisions in this regard.

Why has there been a hike in the fees?

In 2014, Panjab University witnessed a financial crunch. Since then, the university has been consistent efforts to acquire funds from the state and centre.

With the little help from the government, Panjab Universit’s Vice Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover was forced to hike the fee by 5 percent last year. As the financial capacity of the university failed to improve, a further hike by 12.5 percent was induced, terming it as a “need of the hour”.

Panjab University Fee Hike Protest Goes Violent, Know The Full Incident
Image Source: hindustantimes

Until last year, PU was the cheapest varsity in the region apart from central universities. The students argued that the university will only be affordable to the elite section if the hike is not reversed.

Panjab University had also increased its entrance exam fee but this was the slight hike in comparison to the recent tuition fee hike.

Every party of the campus submitted a memorandum to the VC regarding the issue, following which representatives of all the student bodies and office bearers of PU Campus Students’ Council were summoned for talks.

At last, VC held a press conference where he added that withdrawal of hike will only be possible if the university received substantial grants from government bodies.

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