A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction for the Central Government and University Grants Commission (UGC) to ask the universities and colleges to provide some concession on tuition fees chargeable for the next semester.
The plea moved by Justice For Rights Foundation, through its President, Advocate Satayam Singh, wants the educational institutions to be restricted from asking for a lump sum amount or payment of outstanding fees. The petition also sought directions to provide a mechanism in order to ensure that the names of the students are not omitted or deleted or left-out due to non-payment of semester fees due to the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown.
The petition filed last week also mentions that the students and parents are not in an appropriate financial condition to make such heavy payments due to the financial constraints caused by the shutting down of businesses and cancellation of wages resulting from nationwide lockdown. It has further added the provision to allow only those educational institutions to charge tuition fees which have provided online classes to the students during the lockdown period.
Moreover, the demands pertaining to the payment of fees by the educational institutions would force parents and students to choose between the basic essential commodities required to survive lockdown and to effectively exercise their right to uninterrupted education, the petitioner said, as stated by the Asian News International.
Further, “Right to Education can only have effective meaning if it is read as a Right to Continuous and Uninterrupted Education, the reality also remains that many students and parents are supporting their educational endeavours with the help of educational or friendly loans, which further add to the burden”, the petition argues, Livelaw reported.
Besides this, the petitioner has alleged that the “nonchalant” and “non-serious” approach of the educational institutions is causing mental stress to students and affecting their mental well-being.