The State’ Cheif Minister and other concerned authorities wrote a letter addressing the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana HC to grant fee relief for students of the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing financial difficulties. The letter signed off by over 720 students of RGNUL points out that amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent damage to the Indian economy, many parents/ guardians find it difficult to pay the fees for the next semester.

It is also mentioned that due to the premature closure of the campus amid the pandemic, a major portion of the fees paid for the summer semester remain unutilised. The letter adds that the students are conscious of the University’s liability to remunerate teaching/ non-teaching staff and other expenditure to be incurred regardless of the University’s closure.

All the same, the letter highlights that, “it does not seem rational and prudent to charge the fees for entire semester while the routine in-campus activities have been functional for just one and a half months. Further, the teachers have conducted classes and internal assessment for the semester through various online mediums. Hence, we assert that our request for the relief(s) is without prejudice to the portion of fees which are being spent by the University on salary remuneration to teaching/non-teaching staff.”

In this regard, it is also noted that fees such as Mess Fees, Moot Court Fees, Campus Development Fund, Heath Centre Fees, Gym facility Fees, etc. will not be utilized during this period. Further, it is noted that there would no requirement to incur internet, electricity, water and other utility charges as usual.

The students have, therefore, urged the concerned authorities to consider granting the following forms of fee relief, i.e.
• Exemption of Annual Increase in Tuition Fees for the next academic session; and
• Rebate in Late Fees (if any) applicable on payment of fees; and
• Partial Refund of ‘Fees’ already paid in lieu of the Balance (‘Fees’ including but not limited to Amenities Fee, Moot Court Fee, Mess Fee, Campus Development Fund, portion of Hostel Rent which remain underutilized).

(BY- SAMARTH GOGIA)