Protest over proposed fee hike: BHU panel to look into student demands

More than two weeks after the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the National Students Union of India (NSUI) launched protests in the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) against a proposed hike in the fee structure, the university administration has formed a panel to look into the issues raised by students.

The committee will be chaired by Professor Yashwant Singh, Director of the Institute of Agricultural Sciences.

The two teams, the RSS students’ ABVP and the Congress’s NSUI, however, have said they will continue with the protests with the ABVP saying the committee has been formed to “mislead students”.

“Banaras Hindu University has formed a panel to look into the issues raised by some students through their representations regarding the proposed fee structure in some programs from the academic session 2022-23 onwards. The university has once stated and another that no revision has been made effective for the current students of BHU and they will continue to pay the existing fee till the end of their course of study.The new structure is only applicable to the candidates who join the academic session 2022 -23 onwards,” the university said in a statement on Tuesday.

“However, some students have approached the administration and made representations about the proposed fee structure and hostel fees. In light of these representations, the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir Kumar Jain has constituted a committee to look into these issues,” the statement said.

ABVP BHU unit campus secretary Puneet Mishra said the ABVP does not want to hold any discussion with the committee behind closed doors.

“The committee has been formed to mislead the students. What is the purpose of the commission? They say they will hold talks. We have already given all the details about the fee increase. What is there to ask now? The committee has been formed to put pressure on the students in different ways. If they want to talk to us, they should come to the protest site,” Mishra said.

ABVP has been protesting against the proposed fee hike inside the BHU campus for over two weeks.

NSUI BHU unit president Rana Rohit said the organization’s protest was currently on hold but will resume as soon as students return to the campus after the festive season.

“Once the students come back, we will restart the demonstration and it will be stronger than before,” Rohit said.

Speaking about the panel formed by the university, Rohit said, “This committee has been formed after the BHU administration is already taking revised and increased fees from undergraduate students. When will they submit the report? The committee has been formed in the face of fears that the movement against the increase in quotas is getting stronger.”

Earlier in October, BHU had maintained that the proposed fee hike would not affect the current batches studying at the university, and the decision to implement a “nominal hike” was taken before the academic session 2019- 20.

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