However, the department was alerted in the nick of time, which ensured temporary relief for students and research scholars.
A circular issued by Commissioner of the Social Welfare department on July 7 stated the relaxation of the income level of parents for students of SC/ST communities from Rs two lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. Among other instructions in the circular was that students should possess income certificates which were issued within five years, considering the year of admission.
On August 19, the last date for admission of students for post graduate courses in the department, several students were taken aback when they realised that the department was violating the recent circular of the department. Students alleged that they were also demanded to produce income certificates issued in the year 2013 for fee concession.
When members of Manasagangothri unit of Students Federation (SFI) of India brought this to the attention of the Chairman of the department, the issue was finally sorted out.
Students received confirmation on Tuesday that the fees paid by them will be remitted back within ‘15 days to six months’.
Meanwhile, K M Bhyrappa, convenor of Manasagangothri unit of SFI, alleged that clerks and other officials in the department of Studies in Kannada had intentionally hidden the circular to extort fees from the students.
He added that research scholars from SC/ST communities, numbering more than 50 are also exempt from fees to pursue post graduation diploma courses at the varsity. But, they are also being forced to pay fees. “Staff at the office said that since we are receiving fellowships from UGC, the amount received as scholarships should be considered as income, which is atrocious. Few research scholars have already paid the fees, which might also be refunded,” he said.
Chairman of the Department of Studies in Kannada, N M Talawar acknowledging a gap in communication said that all issues have been sorted out by the department. “SC/ST students with income certificates have been completely exempted from payment of fees. Since University regulations required students from other categories to produce income certificate issued during the admission, we have given these students 15 days time. Even an acknowledgment received while applying caste certificate is being considered valid during admission,” he said.
We had received requests from research scholars of SC/ST community who have applied for post graduate diploma courses to not consider their fellowships as income. We have given concessions for them too, he said stressing that the issues have been sorted out.
Earlier, SFI had threatened with a bundh call in the University, if the department collected fees violating the circular.