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Institutes Must Not Insist for Payment of Fees from Students or Fire Faculty Members: AICTE

AICTE has urged colleges and institutes to not withhold salaries or terminate services of faculty members, and to not insist students on payment of fees

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), after taking into account reports of students complaining about universities insisting on payment of fees even during the lockdown period, has issued a statement urging colleges and institutes to refrain from doing so. Despite the extensive nationwide lockdown, some students brought to the notice of authorities that their respective colleges were asking for fees even during this period.

“Sir please help us. My brother is in college, his college is asking for the balance fees. We are a middle-class family sir we cannot pay fees in these situations. Please help us. Can you please ask colleges about this?” says Priya on Twitter.

“It is a humble request to ask all states to direct Schools/colleges/universities of all Studies/departments to adjust fees collected towards hostel/mess/other charges for which facilities were not provided due to corona pandemics to be adjusted in the coming semester,” says Malvi Agrawal.

However, AICTE has issued fresh guidelines regarding the extended lockdown and has stated that it is “for strict compliance” by all colleges and institutions.

The statement from AICTE read “it has come to the knowledge of AICTE that certain stand-alone Institutions are insisting that students should pay the fees including admission fees, during the lockdown. It is clarified that colleges/ Institutions should not insist on payment of fees till the ongoing lockdown is lifted and normalcy is restored. Further, guidelines in this regard communicating the revised timelines will be issued by AICTE in due course. Accordingly, all colleges/ Institutions are directed to display the information on their websites and also communicate the same to the students through email.”

The AICTE has also stated that institutions must not indulge in wage cuts and termination of services of faculty members. “It has been learnt that various institutions have not paid salary to their faculty and staff members for the duration of the lockdown. Also, certain institutions have terminated the services of certain faculty/ staff members. It is clarified that salary and other dues to the faculty/staff members will be released for the duration of lockdown and also Terminations, if any, made during the lockdown will be withdrawn. Hence, the same may be strictly complied with. A letter in this regard has also been issued to the Respective Chief Secretaries of the States / UTs including reimbursement of fees to colleges/institutions” adds AICTE.

AICTE has also clarified that online classes for the current semester should be continued during the extended lockdown until 3 May 2020, and a revised academic calendar will be issued by UGC or AICTE subsequently.

(With inputs from PIB)

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