RGNIYD students asked to pay condonation fees for low attendance at online classes held during pandemic

On December 24, the Institute published a list of students who were eligible to appear for the examinations based on their attendance of the online classes
Representative Images
Representative Images

The students of Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development (RGNIYD) were in for a surprise, when they saw their names on the list of students who were asked to pay a condonation fee for not having the required attendance. With classes across the country and the world being cancelled or shifted to the online mode due to the pandemic, the students said they did not expect to be fined for missing classes.

A condonation fee is levied on students when they don't have the requisite attendance needed in a semester to appear for the exam, but have a valid cause that is authorised by the pertinent authority. Usually, condonation applies when students fall short of the required attendance mark by up to 10 per cent.

When we got in touch with the Institute, they said they were only following norms, "A minimal fee of Rs 250 is being collected by all the Universities in Tamil Nadu and throughout India to condone the shortage of attendance upto a maximum limit of 10 per cent.  This is being done to inculcate a value of responsibility, discipline and developing a positive perception towards higher learning," said Prof Dr TRA Devakumar, the Registrar. 

On December 24, the Institute published a list of students who were eligible to appear for the examinations based on their attendance of the online classes. Students are unhappy that they are being made to pay Rs 250 as condonation fees even though the circumstances were so extraordinary. The students also wrote to the Director and the Controller of Examinations asking for the administration to reconsider the matter. “Several students from batches 2019-2021 have missed out on classes due to unavailability of internet networks and electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, a lot of people are still suffering due to the financial crisis. Also, several students faced issues because of a change in the online mode of learning,” the students wrote. 

The students asked for the administration to reconsider citing the UGC regulation, “The UGC regulation points out that in the case of a minimum percentage of attendance for the students, research scholars, the period of lockdown may be treated as 'deemed to be attended' by all the students, research scholars. Therefore, I request you to please allow all the students to attempt the examination in this desperate time of pandemic as several students are facing issues related to mental health, financial stress,” they said in their letter.

The students said that they have not yet received a response from the administration, “Many students have already paid the fees but there are many more students who are not even eligible to pay the fees,” an alumni said.

We’ve reached out to the institute for a comment and will update this copy as soon as we receive it.

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