Fee waiver once again for disabled

Smriti Irani visits Hindu College for inspection

Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani made a surprise appearance at Hindu College on Tuesday, asking college authorities to extend fee waiver to students with disabilities.

The college had discontinued the government waiver scheme while allegedly citing fund constraints.

Irani’s inspection visit came just a day after she met a first-year visually impaired student from Hindu College at a public event. The student had raised the issue of the college not extending the hostel fee waiver scheme.

The HRD minister on the student’s complaint met officiating principal Anju Srivastava and hostel warden Poonam Sethi.

Sethi told the minister how the college Governing Body failed to make an allowance for disabled students under the government’s fee waiver scheme.

“It has been a long pending demand of students with disabilities. But despite many representations, the college Governing Body failed to set aside a budget,” Sethi told Deccan Herald.

“The university hasn’t worked out the modalities to sustain this policy. For seeking reimbursement from the university, the bill has to be put through the college Governing Body,” she said.

The issue has its origin in the fact that the Governing Body has not reimbursed the amount of the fee waived in the past three years. As per the advisory of the university dated April 4, 2014, the Governing Body must meet this expenditure through funds available in the college.

Currently, the amount outstanding under this head is Rs 7,19,313.

However, after the intervention of the minister, Srivastava announced that beneficiaries of the scheme will be reimbursed.

She said students under Persons with Disabilities (PWD) category will get full fee waiver as well as 50 per cent waiver on mess dues.

Irani had reached the college at 11 am and left at 11.30 am. This is her first inspection visit to Delhi University.

She also met teachers on demonstration since March 25. Their letter to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung earlier this year on alleged irregularities by the Hindu College trustees had invited disciplinary action from the college administration. 

Irani assured them that she will mark the representation regarding Hindu College to the Governing Body and seek its response.

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