Published: 22nd September 2023
IARI Delhi: Students stand against hostel fee hike; write to Education Minister, ICAR
This has come a few months after the students staged a protest at IRAI in May against a fee hike of up to 200 per cent
Students of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IRAI), New Delhi, claim that the institute has introduced an exorbitant and unjust hike in the hostel fees.
This has come a few months after the students staged a protest at IRAI in May against a fee hike of up to 200 per cent. The institute addressed their concerns after the protest and withdrew its circular.
However, similar concerns have emerged again after the institute released the fee structure for its new hostel. As per the document, annual charges for the new hostel for regular IARI students are Rs 30,000 for a single seater room, Rs 96,000 for a single seater room with an attached kitchenette and bathroom, and Rs 1,80,000 for a family suite. These charges are exclusive of electricity and water charges of Rs 6,000 to Rs 12,000.
“There has been a limited availability of hostels at the institute and most new PhD students as well as MSc students live off-campus due to this reason. When this new hostel was inaugurated in July, we thought it would address this issue but they have implemented an extraordinary fee hike for the hostel. This is students’ hard-earned fellowship money. A few research students also support their families financially and manage their daily expenses through this money,” expressed Gokul Raj, a PhD student at IARI Delhi.
The researchers also added that during their admission process, the annual fee was ascertained to be Rs 27,650 including the hostel fee without food charges.
Moreover, students also alleged that due to the unavailability of the hostels, a few IARI faculty members have also started offering accommodation to students near campus for exorbitant prices,
The Bharatiya Research Scholars Organisation (BRSO) has written a letter to the Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Dr Himanshu Pathak, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
“PhD students are completely being denied hostels, the revised fee of which were not at all mentioned during our admission, now students are compelled to arrange accommodation of their own, which lays a huge financial burden on them. Plus this is exclusive of food arrangements and transportation to the institute. All students now feel trapped and most of the bright but economically backward students are in such a situation that they might be forced to discontinue their degree,” the letter read.
A circular released by the institute on August 22 said that the offline classes and research work of the master's and PhD students will commence from September 25, 2023, and the hostel rooms would be allotted on the basis of availability of rooms, merit, and hostel allotment policy.