Gangtok, 13 Jun:

Students of Sikkim Government College, Tadong have demanded that the Human Resource Development Department formulate a fixed fee policy for colleges in the State.

"The sudden announcement of fees creates lots of confusion like the examination fees that the students had to pay recently. We had informed about the fee issue to HRD Principal Secretary and he had said that a letter would be sent to the College Principal. Sikkim University has the right to charge us fees but the same needs to be reimbursed by the government. We demand that the State HRD set a fixed fee policy," said Students Representative Council president, Bishal Subba while addressing a press conference today.

It was informed that a group of students met the Director of Higher Education [HRDD], DK Pradhan on Monday to discuss the fee issue along with various other issues. The students were given an HRDD press statement which said that "the students had to pay the examination fees this year due to online registration form introduced by Sikkim University. From the upcoming academic session, the details of the fee to be paid by a student in the 3 year course will be issued".

The students were also told that the Directorate will seek the details of fees to be reimbursed from all the colleges and the reimbursements will be made from 28 June to July 8.

Meanwhile, the HRDD in its statement has said that Sikkim University being a Central University is beyond the administrative control of the Department, yet it has assured of discussing the matter with SU.

Another issue brought up by the students is the introduction of online admission procedure, which according to them, is causing a lot of inconvenience to the students. The students also stressed on the need for the State to provide 50% seat reservation for students of the State.

The SRC president also alleged that many students who participated in the protests were made to give written apologies by the college. They have threatened to stage another protest if their demands are not met.