School of Open Learning students detained

July 9, 2014

New Delhi: Several student activists were detained after they gathered outside the HRD ministry on Wednesday to submit a charter of demands regarding the School of Open Learning.

SOL students and activists from Krantikari Yuva Sangathan gathered to reiterate their demand for parity in degrees. They also protested SOL's decision to provide study material on pen drives and memory cards instead of printed material and alleged the move is anti-poor.

KYS submitted a memorandum to the ministry last week and students joined the protest to reiterate their demands as there has been no action so far . "There has been no intervention by the ministry. We also met the executive director of SOL, H C Pokhriyal, and apprised him of the discontent among students applying to SOL. Students strongly feel that SOL's plan to give study material on pen drives and memory cards is anti-poor ," said Subhash, member, Delhi State Committee, KYS.Students also alleged that SOL is the only government institution where even marginalized students are made to pay full tuition fees and said it has not received any funding from UGC for almost two decades.

"The entire budget including the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff, is met from the fees ranging between Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,000. DU collects a university development fee of Rs 600 and an examination fee that ranges from Rs 610 to Rs1,620 from each student. And instead of using the fees collected from students in creating infrastructure and services for the students, the surplus is put into FD's. The total current FD's amount to about Rs 2,70,00,00,000.The School has not invested a single rupee in building infrastructure either as regional centers or study centers, except for some additional construction in the north campus, in the last six decades. To make matters worse the governing body in its meeting held on December 26, 2013 decided to allocate Rs 25 crore to develop infrastructure of Ramanujan college. The rationale is that the building can also be used by SOL. Though the SOL has land at Tahirpur and only Rs 5 crore was allocated to develop the centre," alleged Subhash.

Apart from demanding parity in higher education as per the 10+2+3 course structure of DU colleges the students are also demanding a rollback of the fee hike and study materials in printed forms.

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