People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 08, 2006
SFI Opposes Fee Hike Proposal
THE central executive committee of the Students Federation of India (SFI) strongly opposed the move of the union government to increase the fee collected in colleges and universities. It demanded that the government must instead increase the grants to the universities and provide them with adequate financial resources for their maintenance.
In a statement issued on January 4, the SFI stated: "Even a liberal estimate of the people enrolled in higher education in the 17-23 years age group in our country is only between 8- 9 per cent. This is far behind the per cent in the developed and many developing countries. The tall claims of the governments to convert our country into a 'knowledge super power' cannot be realised without increasing the number of people enrolled in higher education. The recent report of the CABE sub-committee on the financing of higher education has stated that India is one of the few countries where the fee collected from the students out of the total recurring costs is among the highest. It has explicitly stated that the exorbitant fee is one of the important reasons for the low enrolment in higher education and has in fact asked the government not to further increase the fees. The sub-committee headed by Planning Commission member B L Mungekar has also recommended for an increased allocation for higher education from the government."
The SFI warned the government that if it continues to go ahead with this proposal it would be met with widespread resistance across the country.