'If a student doesn't have money, let them not apply': UoH charging exorbitant application fees

The University of Hyderabad opened its application portal on 20 September. In addition to the application fee for CUET entrance exam, the university was charging an application fee of Rs. 600 per course for students belonging to the general category, Rs. 550 for EWS, Rs. 400 for OBC, and Rs. 275 for the SC and ST students. This has put a burden on many aspirants, shutting the doors of their dream university.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  25 Sep 2022 9:48 AM GMT
If a student doesnt have money, let them not apply: UoH charging exorbitant application fees

Hyderabad: Students who aspire to join various UG courses at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) received a shock after seeing the exorbitant fees they will have to pay to apply to their dream university.

The results of the first Common University Entrance Test (CUET), previously called CUCET, were declared on 16 September and the application to UG programmes to various Central universities through separate portals is underway.

This year, admission to various Central universities in the country was conducted through a common entrance test, the CUET 2022. After the results were declared, different Central universities opened their separate application portal for the students to apply.

The University of Hyderabad opened its application portal on 20 September. In addition to the application fee for CUET entrance exam, the university was charging an application fee of Rs. 600 per course for students belonging to the general category, Rs. 550 for EWS, Rs. 400 for OBC, and Rs. 275 for the SC and ST students. This has put a burden on many aspirants, shutting the doors of their dream university.

Considering the issue, a team of students from the Students Federation of India (SFI) went to meet the Controller of Examinations (CoE) with a request to revoke the huge fees for candidates who have cleared the common entrance. According to the SFI students who met the CoE, the CoE said, "If the student does not have the money, let them not apply."

They alleged that the CoE humiliated them and discredited the students' concerns.

Manhandling at the protest

In response to the CoE's reply, the SFI carried out a sit-in protest at the administrative block. But the Vice-Chancellor of the university did not address the students. "Instead of talking to the students, the V-C directed the security officers in the university to intimidate the students," said Kripa, a PhD student at UoH and SFI-HCU joint secretary. The protesting students said that when the attempt to threaten proved to be a failure, the security officers resorted to aggression.

The protestors also alleged that the security forces were brutal in removing the students and clearing the way for the officials. "There were only two female security officers at the protest site and the female students were being manhandled by male security forces," said Kripa. Many students have also reportedly been injured.

After the protests, the UoH V-C agreed that instead of collecting Rs. 600 separately for each subject, they will club all science subjects, social science subjects, etc. and collect Rs. 600 for one group (of five subjects). Hence, the burden has reduced from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 600 for students applying for multiple subjects. The university released a notification on Saturday directing candidates to make one payment for all five programmes belonging to each cluster. (For example, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology, and Anthropology fall in one cluster of Integrated MA Social Sciences).

However, the SFI members said they will continue the protest until this fee is removed completely. "The myth of 'one nation, one entrance' is hereby exposed to be a lie through all the Central universities charging huge amounts as application fees in addition to the fees paid to write the common entrance exam. We urge the students of the country to join the democratic fight against the centralisation of education," said SFI-HCU in a statement on Saturday.

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