OU PG students to start agitation against fee hikes; administration clarifies hike 

The Bahujan Students' Federation Of India has initiated the social media trend with hashtags #SaveOsmaniaUniversity #SaveOU #SaveEducation 
What is happening at OU? | (Pic: EdexLive and Express)
What is happening at OU? | (Pic: EdexLive and Express)

The students of Osmania University (OU) claim that the administration has hiked the exam fee and hostel fee for postgraduate (PG) courses. Fighting against this, the Bahujan Students' Federation Of India (BSFI) has initiated the social media hashtags #SaveOsmaniaUniversity #SaveOU #SaveEducation and even launched a Twitter storm at 5 pm today, July 19, 2023. 

Speaking to EdexLive, Karunakar, Founder and National Co-ordinator of the BSFI claimed, "This issue has been festering for the last six months. Since there has been no positive response from the administration, we planned to launch the social media hashtags and agitation to fight against the fee hike." 

"We will plan a huge agitation with various student groups in a day or two. These student groups include the National Students' Union of India (NSUI), Dalit Bahujan Student Association (DBSA), Dalit-Miniority Student Association, Dalit Student Union and Ambedkar Student Association and so on," he added. Further, the demands of the association which were tweeted read, "Reduction in increased admission fees, hostel fee; immediate filling up of vacant teaching & non-teaching posts and improvement in hostel facilities in the university."

Karunakar claims that the association tried meeting the Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, Prof D Ravinder Yadav, two months ago but to no avail. Giving more details, he alleged, "The exam fee has been hiked by about 10% while the hostel fee has been doubled." 

Similarly, adding to this, a BTech final year Chemical Engineering student, S Ramu, claimed, "My exam fee in the second year was Rs 800 followed by Rs 1,600 in the third year and Rs 2,000 in the fourth year." With parents who work for a daily wage of Rs 100-200, Ramu who lives away from his family, said it is difficult to manage the expenses. 

An added concern is the announcement of exam fee payment which is usually made just two to three days before the commencement of the exam. This makes it hard for us to manage finances at the last minute and at the same time disturbs our exam preparation, he stressed.

Hostel fee hike
Disclosing the students' plight with hostel accommodation, Ramu alleged, "In a twin-sharing room, three students are accommodated. Additionally, any repair work of lights, fans or bulbs has to be borne by us. Nevertheless, if we reach out to the office administration, it will take more than a month to resolve it." 

As per information shared by Ramu and Karunakar, the MTech hostel (MiniTech) has no water and washrooms facility. Further, it is often inundated due to rains causing more problems for the students accommodated in the hostel, they added. Ramu recalls that it has been eight years since a renovation of the MiniTech hostel has taken place.

When asked if they reached out to any member of the faculty or administration, Ramu said, "Voicing our concerns to faculty might leave a negative image of us on them and might lead to a reduction of marks in our projects or even backlogs. Our seniors have already cautioned us in this regard." Adding to this, Karunakar said claimed, "Efforts made by us to meet the administration failed. And this led to the start of agitation."  

Officials word
When EdexLive spoke to the principal of the University College of Technology, Prof Ch Sailu, he disclosed that the exam fee that is being charged now is Rs 1,800 which includes Rs 100 for the issue of the memo. "The exam fee was Rs 1,200 three years ago and it is increased slightly every year," he added. 

When asked about the total fees being charged for the students, he said, "Early it was Rs 10,000 and since three years, it has been hiked to Rs 35,000." The hike is done every two or three years, he adds. 

Further, clearing the air about the hostel infrastructure, the principal said, "The current hostel capacity is more than four times of what it can actually accommodate. Although we are not supposed to accommodate the self-financing category students, we have been accommodating them as well."

"The infrastructure development has to be done by the university board and it is not a one-man job," he said, adding that initially, there was only one course and no proper hostel accommodation. But now there are many courses and simultaneously, seats have also increased. "We have managed to provide accommodation for all the students," he highlighted.

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