Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Disabled students charged fee despite fee waiver 
Chennai, January 8: The University of Madras is in the soup. Disabled rights organisations have complained that the university charges disabled Ph.D. students while the government ordered fee waiver way back in October 2008. After their meeting with the vice-chancellor on Tuesday night failed to bear fruit, the disabled students have now approached Governor K. Rosaiah, who is also the chancellor of the university, for help.

Two weeks ago, T.M.N. Deepak was recommended by the selection committee of the University of Madras for admission to do Ph.D. programme in the department of politics and public administration. He was asked to pay Rs8,080 for his programme. “A  government order issued in 2008 clearly states that disabled persons are exempted from paying the fee for the Ph.D. programme, I told the university management that I am qualified for fee waiver. But they insisted that I should pay the fee,” said Deepak.

When Deepak explained about the fee waiver, the university staff strictly told him that he must pay the fee. Along with other disabled rights activists, Deepak met vice-chancellor R. Thandavan to redress the grievance. “We told the vice-chancellor about the existing G.O. and the fee waiver. But even he did not respond properly. I am raising this issue because despite this G.O., several disabled persons would have been asked to pay the fee for the last five years. And so all the students who qualified for waiver would receive reimbursement,” he said. Efforts to contact vice chancellor Thandavan went in vain.