First Years Boycott Classes at NLU Sonepat Over Fees, Scholarship Issue

First Year Boycott Classes at NLU Sonepat

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Law University, Sonepat (“University”) is one of the recent NLUs that have opened up. As we had reported earlier, there were issues between the administration and the students, where the students had boycotted classes over various issues, such as – faculty, non-communication from University administration, non-publication of results, etc.

Since July 9, there have been another set of protests. This time, it is the first-year students who have boycotted classes over issues of fees and scholarship.

In their statements to the University, the students point out three things: the University charging campus development fees when there is no campus; delay in scholarship to students; and, non-communication from the University unless drastic measures such as a boycott of classes are undertaken.

Issue of Fees

On June 1, 2021, the University issued an office order asking for tuition fees of Rs. 40,000 to be paid in two instalments. The students sent a reply saying that paying that Rs. 40,000 would mean them effectively paying Rs. 1,25,000 for this year’s fees. The students said that the University claims to have waived off some tuition fees and other fees such as hostel fees etc. from the pre-pandemic fees (of Rs. 1,78,000). Paying this 40,000 would mean the students paying the full tuition fees and campus development fees, along with other charges.

The students are also concerned about paying campus development fees for a non-existent, work-in-progress campus. All these concerns were sent in an email on June 9.

When the University didn’t reply to this email and other communication attempts, the first-year students sent an email to the University on July 9 saying that they intend to boycott classes from the next day because of these issues.

The University replied on the same day saying said that they were asking for the Rs. 40,000 in instalments, on account of COVID. It also said that the fee breakup they were relying on has been updated, and the old one was mistakenly on the University’s website. The latest fee breakup (total Rs. 1,88,000) was put on the University Brochure sent to Consortium of NLUs and is on their website.

Delaying Scholarships

There is also an issue of delaying scholarships since December 2020.

The University says that they are already registered with National Scholarship Portal (NSP), the task is pending at the end of NSP. Students in their letter to the University point out that few students had taken admission on the basis of the scholarship, and this delay is causing them hardships.

No Response to Communication

One of the biggest concerns which the students had was the general lack of response from the University administration, and always having to take drastic measures like boycotting to get the University to respond.

On July 20, the first-year students sent another letter to the University, asking for a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor to come to a solution to these issues. They hadn’t received a response when we last spoke to them on July 22.

A similar situation happened earlier also, when the University responded to the student body, only after a long drawn boycott. After a meeting took place, the University made certain promises to the students. As we understand, most of the promises haven’t been fulfilled yet.

We reached out to the university for a comment, but we did not receive a response. We will update the article if and when we get a response.

To share a story with us, get in touch at umang.poddar@lawctopus.com.

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