Echoing the plea of scores of students, professors from Delhi University want the Goods and Services Tax (GST) applicable on academic activities such as application forms, entrance fees and examination to be withdrawn.Aditya Narayan Mishra, former president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association and a professor at Department of Political Sciences, has written to Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar to reconsider charging GST from students as it will ‘burden’ students by further making higher education inaccessible.
“The imposition of the 18 per cent GST on the admission and examination forms for the young trying to get admission in Universities, on the other hand, is nothing but education denied to those coming from economically weaker and backward sections of the Indian society,’ reads the letter written to union minister. ‘Please withdraw GST on students’ fees immediately and make education inclusive,’ Mishra said in the letter.The faculty is protesting against the imposition of 18 per cent of GST being levied on admission as well as examination forms for students across universities, claiming it will slow down the social transformation of students.
Teachers claim this move will neglect the economic situation of their students and parents, who are working as watchmen, security guards or are engaged in other menial jobs. ‘The government needs to make higher education accessible to youth, treat it as an instrument for upliftment for those unable to afford it. My students have expressed their parents’ inability to afford higher education if they have to pay money at every stage ,’ said Rajesh Jha, a professor at Rajdhani College.Post the roll out of new tax, which replaced all indirect taxes, students will have to pay additional 18 per cent taxes for their application forms and admission fees, in addition to the fees charged.