Mumbai: City colleges And Students Worry CUET Registration Fees Hike Will Be A Burden

Mumbai: City colleges And Students Worry CUET Registration Fees Hike Will Be A Burden

Concerns rise in Mumbai as CUET registration fees hike burdens students. Increased fees spark opposition from colleges and Students’ Federation of India. Application process for CUET PG 2024 begins, deadline on January 24.

Megha ChowdhuryUpdated: Friday, December 29, 2023, 05:55 PM IST
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With the process of filling forms for Common University Entrance Test (CUET) PG exams 2024 has begun from December 26, 2023 in online mode, city colleges and students have voiced concern that the increased registration fees to be able to write the exam could impact the marginal and weaker sections of society, who may find it unaffordable.

The CUET fee hike, which ranges from Rs 200 to Rs 600 depending on the category, has sparked considerable resentment among students. Fees for general category students have been revised to Rs 1,200, Rs 1,000 for Other Backward Class (OBC) and EWS students, Rs 900 for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and transgender students, and Rs 800 for PwD students.

CUET Fee Hike Sparks Concerns in Mumbai

The increase in fees at CUET raises worries in Mumbai.While the Students’ Federation of India have strongly voiced its opposition against the National Testing Agency’s (NTA)  recent move to raise the application fees for the upcoming CUET PG examination, two autonomous colleges in Mumbai, NM and Mithibai, as well as Somaiya Vidyavihar University, which offer admission through CUET, have expressed concern that the high registration fees could impact the students.

Krutika Desai, the Principal of SVKM's Mithibai College, emphasized the need for the government to consider exempting fee increases for students from marginalized categories such as SC/ST/OBC/EWS/PWD or providing concessions. "While not all students would be affected by the fee hike, it could pose affordability challenges for many," says Desai.

Desai also mentioned that the college's decision on whether to admit students through the CUET entrance examination in 2024 is still in process and not yet finalized, "I advised students to focus on their 12th-grade studies while keeping an eye on the college's website for updates."

Veena C Sanekar, the I/C Principal at K J Somaiya College of Arts & Commerce, emphasizes that the cost of a CUET form is just one of the expenses students will face, "once their CUET score is released, they would need to register with the university/college they wish to take admission in." Sanekar acknowledges that while this may impact marginalized and the weaker sections of society, the government likely had valid reasons for their decision.

She points out that "the government incurs expenses at various exam centers, and unless these centers agree to conduct exams for free, the National Testing Agency's decision to charge for CUET exams is reasonable, especially considering that they did not raise the registration fee during the pandemic."

As registrations for CUET PG 2024 have begun, the federation has stood firm in its objection to the increased fees.

The SFI Calls It Unfair Financial Burden On Students

The SFI, which represents student interests, expressed opposition to the CUET PG fee hike, calling it a barrier to educational diversity and an unfair financial burden on students, particularly those belonging to the marginalised community.

The SFI press release read “The justification given for the fee hike by the head of NTA, is a flimsy logic suited for profit making corporations”.

 “We demand that the NTA should immediately revoke the increased fee structure. We also appeal to students to raise their voice against such arbitrary decisions made which has become an economic burden for students," added the release.

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