New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has alleged that colleges here are charging "high" hostel fee and imposing "discriminatory" rules for girls, and sought Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar's intervention. The DCW chief, Swati Maliwal, in a letter to the minister claimed "severe apathy" exists in the UGC and the response from its officiating chairman was "extremely discouraging". She urged Mr Javadekar to expedite the selection process for a regular chief for the education body so that pending issues can be resolved.
The DCW said it has received a representation from a student advocacy group, following which it had sent communications to various universities, colleges and institutes in Delhi to assess reasons for "discriminatory hostel rules and high fee for girls".
The Commission said it has received detailed responses.
Many institutions still do not have hostel facilities for girls, forcing them to seek private accommodation outside the college campus, Ms Maliwal claimed.
"Over five institutions have informed the Commission that due to various issues pending with University Grants Commission (UGC) pertaining to release of due grant, they are unable to construct hostels for girls or ensure non- discriminatory fee," she said in her letter.
Ms Maliwal claimed that several communications had been sent to the UGC seeking intervention on the requests of different institutions since February 2017.
"However, no response whatsoever, till date, has been received," she said.
The letter states that to ensure resolution of long- standing issues, which were "adversely impacting the safety and rights of girl students in several institutions in Delhi", the chairperson met the UGC's officiating chairman, V C Chauhan.
"However, to my utter shock and dismay, the officiating chairman of the UGC was not even aware of over a dozen communications sent by the Commission to the UGC, including those marked directly to Chauhan," she said.
The chairman did not show any inclination to even discuss the issues raised by the Commission citing lack of time, Ms Maliwal alleged in the letter.
"He also appeared to be unaware of the recent issue of Hindu College hiking fee for its girls' hostel due to non- receipt of funds from the UGC.
"This issue has not only been raised by the Commission with the UGC but was also widely reported by the media.
Inaction of the UGC in the matter of discriminatory fee in girls' hostel is disgraceful," she said.
Ms Maliwal has also sought an appointment from Javadekar to discuss the issues.
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