PUNE: The State government’s GR and several notifications issued by the higher and technical education department and the university authorities have been stating that colleges should only collect 50 per cent of fees from economically weaker/ backward class (EBC) students for the academic year and not force them to make full payment. Yet students have been complaining that city colleges are demanding 100 per cent fees from them.
According to the circulars, the State government has strictly instructed that colleges should only collect 50 per cent fee from those eligible for the EBC scheme, the remaining money will be paid by students when the amount is disbursed by the government in their bank account.
A student of Polytechnic College, Akurdi, on condition of anonymity, said, “I wanted to take admission to the third year. However, the administration has refused to accept my application form. They are demanding the entire year’s fee, only then they will proceed with the admission process.”
The student hails from Nagpur. His father had once owned a flour mill but now his family sustains itself on salaries of his elder sister and brother with a total annual income of Rs 4 lakh. He took admission in the second year directly last year, when he had only paid 50 per cent of the fee. The remaining amount was paid after the State government deposited the amount in his bank account.
However, only this year, the college is insisting on paying the full annual amount of Rs 44,250.
“I had requested the administration to allow two instalments for payment but they didn’t agree. They said that at least Rs 25 lakh of scholarship money is pending with the government. Hence, the authorities have decided to not give any benefit to students, even the principal has directed strict orders to collect the entire fee,” he said.
The last date for admission is July 15 at this college. The student fears that if he is unable to pay the entire amount, he would have to take a year’s drop.
There are similar cases in other colleges as well. Colleges have not created awareness about the GR issued by the State government.
In a city-based college, EBC scheme beneficiaries are unaware about the GR and notifications.
“The admission process has not started completely now. But few students have taken admissions. Everyone has done full payment of their fees. When asked about the 50 per cent payment of fees, the scholarship department told us that they are unaware of any such rules. Few students have returned because they were unable to pay the entire fee, while some beneficiaries have made the full payment,” said a student seeking admission to the first year in Masters in Science (MSc).
“Colleges have neither put up any notice about paying 50 per cent of fees nor have they informed students while collecting fees. Moreover, many renowned colleges have included gym, library and other charges, which according to a circular by the Savitribai Phule Pune University is not allowed. Moreover, deposits taken from students during admissions in some colleges have not been reimbursed too,” said Kuldeep Ambekar, a student activist.