Do you remember how the Indian government took the nation aback on 8th November 2016 by demonetizing the 100 and 500 bank notes from midnight? The entire nation was in shock and despair.Recently, the students of Shri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce¬†(GGS college) met with some similar fate.
It was clearance day and the students had gathered to receive their admit cards. But the authorities had something else in their minds. Students with less than the minimum required attendance according to Delhi University rules were charged with hefty fines.
Two categories were made :
-GGSites with less than 66.53% attendance had to pay INR 1000 along with signing a bond.
-The ones with less than 33% attendance were fined with INR 2000 along with signing the bond (or super bond as they call it!)
Meanwhile,a student reacted by calling it unfair and that it should have been pre declared as most of the students struggled to arrange the money.
Another student,on request of anonymity said,”Colleges are charging 1000 to 2000 rupees from students with low attendance, which is not a nominal amount. Students come from different backgrounds and attendance should not be a matter of judgement since there is a plethora of activities that are more worthwhile than going to college.”
A student of first year said “Being a good student all my life, I believe that as long as I am getting good marks, a fine should not be awarded for a shortage in attendance.”
But,not everyone was disappointed. Another student said,“I had heard that it will be mandatory to bring parents to the college if someone is short of attendance. I am glad that did not happen and only a fine was levied.”
This was not the first time a college of DU has taken such action. A similar incident took place in April 2015 when Shri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College penalised its students having low attendance with Rs. 2500. But after prominent protests by students, they decided to take back their decision and issue admit cards to the students. Recently, Aryabhatta college also charged similar financial penalties. But the one thing that was common in all these 3 cases was the protest with which students greeted this astonishing measure.
Was It Legal? Is It Ethical?
Once the university issues hall tickets,the colleges can’t withhold the same.DU spokesperson Malay Neerav on a similar issue few years back said,”There is no such provision in DU ordinances for condonation of short attendances by paying a penalty.However, it is an internal matter of the college to be settled within their jurisdiction.”
As the Delhi University rules do not provide for any fee from students with low attendance,taking money from students,by college authorities is highly questionable.
(A joint article by Gunjan Chawla and Honey Chawla)