Published: 21st April 2022
Need duplicate degree certificates from Mother Teresa Univ? Be prepared to shell out Rs 2K per year!
Many students like Nithila who have lost their certificates are in a fix due to the exorbitant search fees levied by the university
S Nithila (name changed) graduated from Mother Teresa Women's University in Kodaikanal in 2008 and received her UG degree certificate in 2009. She, however, lost her certificate two years ago and had applied for a duplicate one with the Office of Controller of Examinations.
To her shock, she was instructed to pay Rs 2,000 as a search fee for each year, while only Rs 2,000 was required for obtaining a duplicate certificate, as per the university website. The university also charged an extra Rs 1,500 as search fee since the website shows only Rs 500, she alleged. Translating the search fee for twelve years since her course completion, it sums up to a total of Rs 24,000 till this year. Alarmed at the exorbitant amount, she has sought the intervention of Chief Minister MK Stalin and Minister for Higher Education K Pondmudy in the issue. Many students like Nithila who have lost their certificates are in a fix.
Speaking to TNIE, Nithila said, "I lost my degree certificate two years ago while travelling by bus. I applied for a duplicate one. Though the university website shows the fee as Rs 2,000 for obtaining a duplicate certificate, the staff at the Controller of Examinations asked me to pay a search fee of Rs 2,000 per year, which translates to Rs 24,000. The amount is huge and beyond my capacity to pay."
Nithila, who is a homemaker, has written the PG-TRB examination and is awaiting results. "I hope to get good marks and get posted as a government school teacher. All institutions ask for a degree certificate for verification and I want it at the earliest. I don't want to ask my husband for money to get my duplicate certificate," she added. From the university website, TNIE learnt that Rs 500 is collected as a search fee (but there was no mention of the date in which it was enforced or clarification on what category of certificates can be obtained for the fee) and Rs 2,000 is levied for duplicate degree certificates.
Replying to the allegations, Mother Teresa Women's University Controller of Examinations (i/c) A Usha Raja Nanthini told TNIE that the varsity would place the agenda to the syndicate to review the search fees and it would take more than ten days. When contacted, Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) Controller of Examinations (i/c) M Dharmaraj said the MKU collects search fees of Rs 250 from the applicant only after they apply for a degree certificate after three years of course completion. For a duplicate certificate, Rs 2,000 is collected.
Speaking to TNIE, General Secretary of Madurai Kamaraj, Manonmaniam Sundaranar, Mother Teresa and Alagappa University Teachers Association (MUTA) M Nagarajan said, "Collecting Rs 2,000 as search fees per year is like a daylight robbery and a shame on the state-run university." He said there is a uniform fee structure in Government Arts and Science Colleges in the state, but variations in state-run universities. "It will never bring social justice. The fee structure should be uniform. The Tamil Nadu government should hand over the fee fixation decision to the Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education (TANSCHE) after consultation with the stakeholders including students, teachers, representatives of teachers and students and so on," he suggested.