The University of Calcutta has decided to waive off all kinds of fees for its students for the year 2021-22. The decision, taken in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will ensure practically a free education for thousands of students.
“In view of the present pandemic situation, the University has waived off all fees like admission fees, tuition fees and examination fees of the students (PG and University UG students) for the academic year 2021-22 for different semesters and it is not required for the students to pay fees for collecting the marksheets/grade sheets of different semester examinations,” the university said in a circular issued earlier this week.
The decision has been widely welcomed, particularly by affiliated colleges whose students will seek admission to post-graduate courses at the university.
“This is a victory of students’ movement in our university; they have been demanding the waiver. Already many universities in the country waived fees for students who lost their parents to COVID-19. Delhi University and Ambedkar University are among them. Surveys need to be done on behalf of universities among students who lost their parents, and one would expect the institutions to assist such students. University of Calcutta is the first in West Bengal to waive fees and one would be happy to see others, including private universities, do the same,” said Prof. Ishita Mukhopadhyay, who teaches Economics and is one of the senior-most professors at the university.
Anupama Maitra, an Assistant Professor of English at the Gour Mohan Sachin Mandal Mahavidyalaya, located on the outskirts of Kolkata and affiliated to the university, said: “I think it’s great decision and it will definitely benefit our students. Our students come from poor, rural families. The pandemic and recurrent natural disasters have made matters worse for them. So the waiving of fees is going to be definitely beneficial for them.”
The University of Calcutta was recently in news for being adjudged the second-best among Indian universities. Among the Indian institutions listed in the 2021 Academic Ranking of World Universities — or the Shanghai Ranking — the university came behind only the Indian Institute of Science but was ahead of other top universities in the country and even the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).