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Even as students express concerns regarding payment of fees amid the COVID-19 lockdown, Galgotias University has issued a clarification that students may clear their dues by June 8.
However, the administration has stated that payment of the fees for the Improvement MTE - an opportunity for those students who have not cleared previous exams - cannot be deferred or waived.
Speaking to Bar & Bench, Galgotias University CEO Dhruv Galgotia stated that the University has been constantly extending the last date for payment of annual fees during various phases of the COVID-19 lockdown announced by the government.
“The deadline for annual fee collection had been April 7, for almost a decade now, and if the students don’t pay, there is fine imposed. The COVID-19 lockdown was announced before April 7, so keeping the students’ interest in mind, we extended the due date. When the second due date came, the second lockdown was announced, and we could not predict that there would be a second lockdown. We further extended the due date, after which another lockdown was announced.”
Galgotia further said that the University would extend the last date to June 8, and even beyond, in the interest of the students.
“Now, we have extended the last date to June 8, which will now get extended since the latest phase of the lockdown has been announced. So, we have been constantly extending the date for paying fees. The letter (issued by the VC) specifically mentions that no fine would be imposed for late payment of fee.”
The CEO, however, stated that the University could not waive the payment of fee for the Improved MTE, on the ground that faculty salaries had to be paid.
“Only these 900-1000 students (who have failed) who were given an opportunity to write the special exam, had to pay the Rs. 2,300 fee, because it is the last opportunity that they have.
If we don’t ask for the fees, then complaints will come from the 2,000 faculty members. How will we pay the faculty if we don’t receive the fees?”
Galgotia went on to highlight the similar position other universities were in during the COVID-19 pandemic. He pointed out an advisory issued by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) directing universities not to charge fees amid the lockdown.
Reference was also made to a University Grants Commission (UGC) circular requesting universities to consider offering alternative payment options to students till the situation returns to normal.
“Even though we don’t come under AICTE, we decided not to charge fees, and shifted the date to June 8. With the announcement of Unlock 1, virtually everything is opening up, but we will extend the date further, because, ultimately we have to keep in mind the interests of the students.”
Another grievance raised by the students was that they had faced difficulties during the conduct of online examinations, which the University had failed to address. Responding to this concern, Galgotia said,
“We had planned online examinations, for which students complained that they didn’t have bandwidth or net connectivity, so we completely cancelled those examinations. But we cannot cancel the examinations of students to whom we have given a final opportunity.”
A letter addressed by Vice-Chancellor Dr Preeti Bajaj also clarifies:
Letter issued by Galgotias University VC
[Read the letter]