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Allahabad University Students Threaten to Expand Their Agitation Against Fee Hike


Demanding a withdrawal of a fee hike, students of the Allahabad University threatened to expand their agitation on Tuesday after their talks with the university administration failed. The meeting between the university administration and the students’ union over the fee hike, which lasted for about two-and-a-half hours, was a “complete failure”, students’ union vice-president Akhilesh Yadav said after the conclusion of the talks.

Twenty students took part in the meeting. However, Vice-Chancellor Sangeeta Srivastava was not present during the talks, Yadav said. The students put forward two demands before the administration — a withdrawal of the 300-per cent fee hike and the restoration of the students’ union. Yadav said there was no assurance from the university administration on any of the two demands.

“Now, we will expand the nature of the movement and take it to other universities as well,” he added. The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the university, Jaya Kapoor, said the university has clarified its stand on both issues raised by the students, justifying the fee hike as well as the matter regarding the students’ union, which is under the high court’s consideration and hence, no decision can be taken on this.

The vice-chancellor has made it clear that no meritorious poor student will be deprived of education in the university due to the fee hike, the PRO said, adding that a committee will be constituted to take a decision regarding all such students. Yadav said the district magistrate, the divisional commissioner, the inspector general of police (IG) and the senior superintendent of police (SSP) were not present during the talks on behalf of the district administration. Only the city magistrate, the superintendent of police (city) and the circle officer participated in the meeting on behalf of the district administration, he added.

On behalf of the university, Registrar Anamika Rai, the deputy registrar and the chief proctor were present. The district administration had convened a meeting with the agitating students at the collectorate on Sunday to resolve the deadlock. At the meeting, it was decided that talks between the students and the university administration will be held on Tuesday.

The students have been agitating against the fee hike for almost a month. The fees for undergraduate courses in the university were Rs 975 per annum. The amount has recently been hiked by more than 300 per cent to Rs 4,151.

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