Petition Filed In Delhi High Court Seeking Fee Concession From Colleges, Universities
The payment of fees during the lockdown imposes a financial burden on students that affects their mental health.
A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction for the Central Government and University Grants Commission (UGC) to ask the universities to provide concession on tuition fee for next semester.
The plea moved by Justice For Rights Foundation also wants to restrict the universities and colleges from asking for a lump sum amount or payment of outstanding fees, Asian News International reported.
The petitioner sought directions for a mechanism to ensure that the names of students are not omitted or deleted from college and university rolls due to non-payment of fees.
The petition submits that the parents may not be able to pay the fees for educational institutions due to financial constraints caused by shutting down of businesses due to COVID-19 lockdown.
COVID-19 Lockdown And Fees
The petitioner has argued that payment of fees for next semester may further impact their financial situation and effectively force the students to choose between essential commodities required to survive during lockdown and access their right to uninterrupted education.
The plea says, “Further, right to education can only have effective meaning if it is read as a right to continuous and uninterrupted education, the reality also remains that many students and parents are supporting their educational endeavors with the help of educational or friendly loans, which further add to the burden,” Livelaw reported.
The concerned authorities, including the government and UGC, have not passed any order to educational institutions directing them to provide concessions to students or parents in payment of fees. However, the some state governments and All India Council for Technical Education, AICTE, did ask colleges recognised by it to not insist on fees.
The petitioner has alleged that the “nonchalant” and “non-serious” approach of the government is causing mental stress to students and affecting their mental well-being.
The Union Government has requested the councils of Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) to not increase the yearly fee for the students.