The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) on Monday criticised the fee hike in the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and ascribed the move to the “grant-cut policy of the BJP government”.
This is going to make accessibility to higher education difficult for children from the weaker sections, the Congress-affiliated students’ body said in a statement.
“In India, higher education is a means to bring social change in the direction of social justice. But this cannot be achieved with such increase in students’ fees resulting from the grant-cut policy of the BJP government.”
It said the move was forced by the Finance Ministry’s office memorandum to cut 30 per cent grants for central universities, issued this year on January 13.
“Even the state universities are going to face severe fund crunch with the central assistance being reduced to 50 per cent under Seventh Pay Commission (recommendations) from 80 per cent under Sixth Pay Commission of UPA regime (led by Congress),” it said.
A total of 163 courses will see a raise of 10-20 per cent in fees once the decision is implemented in January 2018, an IGNOU official told IANS.
“NSUI demands the immediate withdrawal of this fee hike in IGNOU. We also demand not to implement the OM in central Universities and restore the central assistance to the state universities,” it added, referring to the Finance Ministry order.