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Students of Delhi University’s St Stephen’s are in an uproar over the increase in utility bills in form of fees for electricity, water, and the internet.

The students of St Stephen’s College alleged that the institute has asked them to furnish utility charges for the period during the lockdown when the students were away from campus due to Covid-19 reported News Click.

According to a notice sent to the students of the college, the students are required to pay Rs 9,600 as Establishment Fee, Rs 2,400 for Electricity and Water Charges, Rs 2,000 for the internet, and Rs 900 for accessing the library.

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The fee structure is shared by the college administration. Image Credits:

The teachers of the institute claimed that the institute violated the University’s rules to recruit staffers. A teacher of the institute spoke to News Click about the matter and said, “The college has hired non-sanctioned staff and much of the money goes towards their salaries. The fee is indeed higher in comparison to other colleges. One of the legitimate reasons is that the college admits only 1,200 students whereas other colleges admit 4,000 students. So, our per capita expenditure on students is high but the college has been recruiting the same set of people through its contacts. If they were recruited through the legal route, the UGC would have paid salaries. It is up to the college to come clean about it.” The teacher also mentioned that the fee hike has badly affected the diversity of the classrooms.

“The college is funded by taxes paid by the common man. The Government gave the land to the college on a lease which is almost free. This is not a shop. The worst part is that scholarships are offered in the middle of the year to discourage students from poorer families,” the teacher added.

Nandita Narain, former president of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association who also teaches at the college, said that there were alternate ways through which the fee could have been brought down. “The college had a surplus of Rs four crore from the fee collected from the students. Additionally, the college runs several foreign language courses and earns handsomely. It could have used the amount to give relief to distressed students. It even to chose to lay off several daily-wage staffers from the college during the pandemic. The strange part is there are no provisions and laws to raise the fee. Thus, there is no transparency,” she added.

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Renu Thapa
Renu is currently majoring in English at Gargi College, Delhi University. Apart from her writing habit, she is also very vocal about her opinions and encourages girls to speak up. Renu is also a sucker for naruto and friends.

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