Delhi University doubles components of annual charges second time in a year following HEFA loans

DU has also doubled the charges for students' welfare funds to Rs 200 and increased charges for development, EWS support funds.

DU has increased charges for various university funds (Image: Official)DU has increased charges for various university funds (Image: Official)

Press Trust of India | December 5, 2023 | 06:43 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi University has hiked its annual charges by 46 per cent to Rs 2,350 under various categories, with several teachers alleging that it is an attempt to shell out the money to repay interest on HEFA loans from students' pocket. Calls and texts to Delhi University Registrar Vikas Gupta did not elicit any response on this.

A loan corpus of Rs 930 crore was approved by the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA), the Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh had told PTI in October. In an official circular issued on June 7, the DU notified that the charges for university facilities and services have been doubled to Rs 1,000 with effect from the academic year 2023-24.

The university has also doubled the charges for its students' welfare funds to Rs 200 while increasing the charges for its development funds by more than 10 per cent to Rs 1,000 from Rs 900 revised in June last year. The annual charges for economically weaker section support university fund have also been revised to Rs 150 for the new academic year. This is the second hike in a year time span with the previous hike in the annual charges notified in July last year -- reportedly after a gap of 13 years. The university development fund component of the annual charges was increased to Rs 900 from Rs 600 in 2022.

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Delhi University teachers and academic council members alleged that the university is effecting the fee hike to repay the interest on the HEFA loan. "To undertake various development projects, the University is now increasing the fees of the students to repay the interest on the loan taken by the university from HEFA. This is a step completely against the affordable education setup of a Central University, thereby making education inaccessible to many," a DU professor said.

A proposal to improve Delhi University's global ranking as envisaged in the 'Strategic Plan 2022-2047' has received criticism by the teachers on the same grounds that the funds required to build the infrastructure to achieve the get goals will be sufficed through private funding which will ultimately result in fee hike. The Left-affiliated Democratic Teachers' Front has demanded that the 'Strategic Plan 2022-2047' to be tabled before the Academic Council on December 6 should be withdrawn also pointing that its content is "plagiarised".

"The document talks about the inevitability of fee hikes and substantial development fees to meet its goals. Dependence on market funding not only will undermine the public character of the university but also alter the character of its academic programmes and activities," the DTF said in a statement on Tuesday. The Academic Council will meet on December 6 to give its final nod to several key proposals discussed during its meeting on November 30.

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