GNDU: Online Campaign to Seek Fee Waiver in the Wake of COVID-19 Launched by 900+ Students

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Samrat Roy

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Students from different streams at GNDU held protests in support of their request to waive fees following the Covid-19 pandemic.

There have been several protests outside the varsity for days in a row, and today a group of students have also launched an online protest to raise the issue.

A group of students met with university officials on Tuesday and said that because of a pandemic, a limited number of students could protest physically.

“We started our online campaign "GNDU Fees Issue" where many other students, who had returned to their native places before the lockdown, are supporting the campaign. Our concern is that we should only be charged with school fees. Our protests began when GNDU issued an official letter that August 25 would be the last date for all semesters to be charged. A lot of students from Bihar, Delhi and other areas have come to us to address this issue. Why should they be charged for services that are not available due to a pandemic? Our total fees include laboratory fees, examination fees, infrastructure fees, but classes are online. In addition, many students do not have a stable source of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which makes it more difficult to pay the fees, "said Aditya Takiar, a GNDU student and one of the protesters.

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He said more than 900 students joined their online protests through the social media platform and recorded their suggestions. By means of an online Google form, their digital signatures have been taken and their problems and suggestions have been recorded.

Since the restrictions of Covid-19 dissuade students from openly gathering for protests, they have filed online petitions and are starting twitter trends to register their protests. "More than 1,000 students have been connected to us through our online protests. We hope the authorities will take note and give us some respite. We are ready to pay the fee, but some relief must be granted and we should also be allowed to pay the fee in instalments, "he said.

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In the meantime, the university authorities have assured the students that they will take up the matter at a meeting scheduled to be held soon on the subject.