Students of 16 medical colleges affiliated to the Uttarakhand Ayurved University (UAU) have been sitting on dharna in the state capital, Dehradun, since the beginning of October. They are demanding a reversal of the steep fee hike imposed by the university authorities.
According to the agitating students, the fees were Rs. 80,000 per year till 2014-15, but were raised to Rs. 2.15 lakh in 2015-16, in violation of the government-appointed fee fixation committee rules. Moreover, the colleges added other charges, such as development charges, library fees, etc. and the total fees are now Rs. 3 lakh. “Many of the private Ayurved colleges are owned by Ministers in the state government. The state government is hand-in-glove with the authorities of these private colleges. These colleges have hiked the fees for undergraduate courses 3-4 times”, the students have complained.
Hundreds of students had approached the High Court with the demand to withdraw the fee hike. On October 9, 2018, the High Court of Uttarakhand ordered private ayurvedic medical colleges to refund the hiked fees that had been charged from the students, but the colleges have not followed the directive till date. This has compelled the students to sit on indefinite dharna to press for their demand.
Meanwhile, the UAU Vice-Chancellor has threatened to cancel the affiliation of the 16 defaulting private medical colleges, throwing the students’ future into greater uncertainty.