Students to protest CIEFL fee hike

THE WAVES of fee hike blowing across the universities have touched the elite Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL) too. The elitist image of this Deemed University has reflected in the fee hike which has seen a shocking 500 per cent increase over the previous year in some cases.

Not to lag behind, the CIEFL students took a leaf out of the books of their peers and neighbours, Osmania University students and have decided to take on the administration by disrupting the admission procedure. A series of protest programmes would follow if the administration does not concede their demands, the Participants Association, which is spearheading the agitation, has said.

The students here are not demanding complete withdrawal of the hike. Instead, they have suggested a hike of 75 per cent over the present fee structure, which they feel is logical and affordable by the students. However, their suggestion has been turned down by the administration.

"By being merciless in deciding the hike, the authorities have caused a loss of income to the institution apart from snatching away education from the poor and middle class", says, Mr. Rajesh Reddy, one of the students. He says the fee hike has adversely affected the sale of applications which has come down from 1,000 to 350 during the last year.

This is despite introducing new courses and opening nine new entrance examination centres in the country. "Whom are they trying to attract by imposing unaffordable fee. This is a conspiracy to confine the CIEFL to the rich alone", allege the students.

The agitating students also argue that even the UGC guidelines restrict the increase to 7-8 per cent at a time, followed by an annual increase, which is also quite insignificant.

But, the enhancement is quite huge under any circumstances. For example, the tuition fee for Ph.D was Rs.300 per semester in 1999 while the increased fee stands at Rs.1,500. The P.G. Diploma in English teaching fee has been enhanced from Rs.200 per semester to Rs.1,500.

Students are not ready to buy the argument of the authorities that the enhanced fee would be utilised for providing fee waivers and scholarships to deserving poor students. "This is only to mislead the students. If that is the case, they should have mentioned the scheme in the prospectus".

The fee of Masters programme in English, which the CIEFL is offering from this year too is exorbitant, feel the students, compared to other centres of excellence like the University of Hyderabad or the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

In an open letter to the Vice-Chancellor, the students said the academic schedule would be disrupted if the "unreasonable" hike was not withdrawn. However, the students have offered to sort out the matter sitting across the table rather than wasting time with agitations. But, they want written assurances from the authorities in this regard.

MANUU's achievement

WHEN THE Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) started its operations three years ago, none would have imagined the rapid strides it had taken now in starting the academic programmes.

Offering a B.Sc course from the third year of its inception is indeed a remarkable achievement and that too given the fact that the university started literally from scratch.

From the present academic year, the MANUU has decided to offer B.Sc course at two centres in the city and at chosen centres in Bangalore, Mumbai and Gulbarga. Besides, it will also introduce three more six-month certificate courses apart from the existing course in Food and Nutrition, through the distance mode. The three certificate courses are: proficiency in Urdu through Hindi, through English and computing.

However, it does not want to confine itself to the traditional courses and is contemplating to introduce vocational courses from the next academic year to boost up employment opportunities. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Shamim Jairajpuri, says Urdu speaking artisans have been deprived of facilities to enhance their skills all these years. However, these courses would also be helpful to youngsters who want to continue their family business.

The university's first conventional course would be a two-year Diploma in Education. Permission has been sought from the Government, which is likely to be cleared soon. The first Masters programme of the university, which would be in Urdu and a certificate course in Hindi journalism are two others are likely to be introduced next year.