Global Youth Voice
Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra Covid-19

BIT Mesra Students Demand Fee Waiver

BIT Mesra:  Students of Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra and its Lalpur extension are struggling against the administration for fee hike and non-transparency in fee. Both parents and students have collectively been opposing the administration’s authoritative imposition and hike in fee. They have demanded fee waiver or concession for the period of lockdown.

Reduce Fee of lockdown period

BBA and BCA students from the extension campus stated that they had paid their spring semester fee prior to the lockdown. Students claimed that during the past six months of this semester, only two months of classes have been conducted. During the lockdown only two subjects were undertaken in online classes for 2 weeks. Same time other subjects were being taught through PDFs and YouTube links.

Fee Notice served

Students from the main and extension campus also informed that the college administration has recently issued them a notice to not just clear the tuition fees but also the development, infrastructure, examination and hostel fees. The students complained of not being heard either by the college administration or by the government. Both parents and students are now under the pressure to pay the college fee in the middle of this pandemic. While talking to  the students GYV found that students were hesitant in revealing their identities. The students are of the opinion that neither the government, nor the administration is bothered about their plight in times of Corona.

A message being circulated among student groups says

“While the whole nation is battling with Corona, the BIT administration’s decision would break the students financially. The general public is highly affected because of the Coronavirus and lockdown; the BIT authorities are now determined to extract complete semester charges from students. Many families are still living on a bare minimum. many organizations have laid off their employees due to the lockdown. This is a time of crisis and the administration must take that into consideration”.

Click here to see the copy of the notice issued by the BIT administration.

While the BIT administration has refused to waive off the semester fees, students say they are not demanding a cancellation of fees. Their demand is  to have a transparent dialogue with the students instead of the authoritative imposition of decisions.

 

The Demands:

 

  •  UGC, AICTE and others have instructed that college administration cannot force the students to pay fees for the lockdown period. BIT administration’s fee notice in the background of this circular creates unrest among students and parents.
  • No guidelines have been issued to open colleges. If the classes are going to be online, why is entire fee being collected from the students? (transport, miscellaneous fees inclusive)
  • College administration increases fees annually. College management is also requested to stop the annual increment for this year. This would reduce financial pressure on students.
  • Certain facilities were not utilized in the past semester. (for example transport, electricity, exam and so on). They should be adjusted in this semester.
  • College administration should cancel Electricity Charges, Transport Charges, Development Charges, and Examination Charges while the college stays shut.  Even if online classes are conducted these extra charges shouldn’t be taken .
  • In view of the Pandemic and critical situation, there is also a demand  to allow such huge amounts of fees to be deposited in installments. This will facilitate every affected middle/ lower class family.

 

Students complained about the uncertainty in these times, they said that there is no certainty when the colleges would reopen. And yet, the college administration is asking students to pay fees for the upcoming semester.

“The college administration is only thinking of its benefits, while ignoring the plight of students and parents”.

Students also pointed out that Chief Minister Hemant Soren himself is a BIT alumnus. On the condition of staying anonymous, a 2nd year student from BIT Mesra said,

“The new government in Jharkhand claimed to work for the welfare of youth. However, it seems that the chief minister, and education minister  are not giving proper attention to student issues.”

BIT Mesra is one of the most prestigious institutions of Jharkhand. Another student,  a hosteler said that students from other BIT campuses have also expressed similar concerns from Patna in Bihar to Deoghar in Jharkhand. He further added that students have organised a Twitter storm as well as initiated a change.org petition to gather maximum support. The petition has already received over 1600 signatures so far.  A student recalls Soren’s visit to the college campus during the annual fest. He says,

“In the Inauguration ceremony the CM promised he will be standing with us, doing everything for students in his capacity till he is alive. I think he has forgotten about it.”

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