School of Open Learning students detained on asking for their rights

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What is the reason behind giving students study material in pen drives and memory cards? Is it lack of funding from UGC from last two decades?

A group of student activists who gathered outside the HRD Ministry with a charter of demands are detained. Demanding a Uniformity in degrees, the SOL students and members of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan gathered outside the HRD Ministry to again put forward their demands. The protest was made on SOL’s decision to provide study material on pen drives and memory cards instead of printed material and alleged the move is anti-poor.

Initially, the KYS submitted a Memorandum to the ministry to which the SOL students joined harping on their needs and demands. Another protest made by KYS was that SOL was the only government institution where even marginalized students were made to pay full tuition fees and said it has not received any funding from UGC for almost two decades.

Not only this, they need a justification for all the fees charged to the students which are not flowing to the infrastructure development. The entire budget including the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff, is met from the fees ranging between Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,000. DU collects a university development fee of Rs 600 and an examination fee that ranges from Rs 610 to Rs 1, 620 from each student. And instead of using the fees collected from students in creating infrastructure and services for the students, the surplus is put into FD’s. The total current FD’s amount to about Rs 2, 70, 00, 00, 000.

The School has not invested a single rupee in building infrastructure either as regional centers or study centers, except for some additional construction in the north campus, in the last six decades. To make matters worse the governing body in its meeting held on December 26, 2013 decided to allocate Rs 25 crore to develop infrastructure of Ramanujan College. The rationale is that the building can also be used by SOL. Though the SOL has land at Tahirpur and only Rs 5 crore was allocated to develop the centre.

Further, what is disappointing is there has been no intervention by the ministry. Meeting and reiterating to the executive director of SOL, H C Pokhriyal apprised the discontent amongst the students.

 

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