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Uttarakhand Ayurved University (UAU) students are protesting for over 20 days against the almost three-fold hike in fees of the private Ayurvedic Medical Colleges. According to the protesting students, most of these colleges are owned BJP ministers including State Ayush Minister Harak Singh Rawat.
In the first week of October, the university called a meeting to resolve the tussle between administrations of state Ayurvedic colleges and its students over the fee hike. However, the meeting ended up annoying the protesting students after they found out that only five colleges’ officials came to attend the meeting.
According to a Times of India report, Lalit Tiwari, one of the protesting students claimed that private Ayurvedic colleges, owned by BJP ministers like AYUSH minister Harak Singh Rawat, have hiked the Bachelor courses’ fees by as much as three to four times.
According to Lalit, the fee was Rs 80,000 per year till 2014-15 but was increased to Rs 2.15 lakh in 2015-16, violating the fee fixation committee rules. Several students approached the courts regarding this. Although the HC last year had ordered college authorities to refund the hiked fee, none of the colleges have followed the directive so far.
The protesting students claimed that the colleges did not comply even after the HC issued a contempt notice to Ayurvedic colleges for not revoking the old fee structure. The students alleged the university is neither allowing them to sit in the classes nor is it accepting the back paper examination forms.
For the last few years, private Ayurvedic medical colleges’ have increased fees drastically. When the matter was taken to court, the state government and the Ayurvedic University were directed not to charge extra fees, and also to refund to the students whatever extra they collected.
Fee hike has been an issue across the country in several universities, including IIT, TISS Hyderabad and Jawaharlal Nehru University.
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