Student groups on Monday demonstrated against Mumbai University fee revision committee's recommendation for a 25% hike in fees across all colleges and courses. Several student delegations met university officials, demanding that the recommendation not be tabled in the management council meeting.
A final decision on the hike was to be taken by the university's management council on Monday. However, the recommendation was not tabled till late in the evening. "The university cannot demand a hike as they have not conducted an audit for over six years now. On what basis are they recommending a hike," asked Manoj Tekade of Prahar Vidyarthi Sena.
Similarly, members of the Maharashtra Navanirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) also met vice chancellor Rajan Velukar. "Only because we protested today, the university officials agreed to not discuss the fee hike recommendation. Otherwise, it would have been tabled in the management council meeting and the university would have gone ahead with the hike," said Sudhakar Tamboli of MNVS. Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) also staged a protest.
The recommendation has also drawn flak from the teachers' union. "An urgent meeting under the chairmanship of the Pro VC was called on April 25, 2014, and surprisingly all those who never attended a meeting after the first meeting were present. The university authorities came up with Maharashtra University Act, 1994, Section 53 (iii), stating that the fee in the local areas should be same. Taking the Act as a pretext, the committee unilaterally and hastily decided by majority to raise fees by 25%, which is not only arbitrary but is also violating and nullifying the purpose of the said committee…," said Madhavi Nikam and Anuradha Majumda in a letter to the vice chancellor.