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Fee hurdle at top schools trip the bright

1 week ago 7

HYDERABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered IIT-Bombay to admit a young Dalit boy who had collected the fees with great difficulty but was not given admission simply because the payment was delayed because of a technical glitch.
But what about those hundreds of students who get admissions to premier educational institutions but can't study with the best brains in the country, simply because they can't muster up the fees?
Despite securing seats in some of India's top institutions like IIMs, NITs and NALSAR, several students from marginalised sections of Telangana are unable to pursue their dream courses there.
TOI spoke to some of these students who, after attending special coaching classes and putting in over six months of preparation to crack these tests, had to drop out at the last minute for failing to arrange the requisite fees.
"I will always have to live with the regret of not being able to join NALSAR's Integrated Program in Management (IPM) despite making the cut," said B Divya Vani, who secured All India rank of 125 in the IPM admission test.
She even stood second in Scheduled Tribes (ST) category in the exam. While Vani's parents - her father works as a contract driver in Mancherial - made every attempt to arrange Rs 30 lakh for the five-year course, they eventually fell short. The student is now pursuing BCom from a private college. "Though my teachers said that I could get a scholarship, I was not sure what percentage of the fee would be covered," she added.
Like Devi, there are at least 40 students, mostly from the SC and the ST communities, who missed their chance to attend premier institutes, despite securing top marks.
Records available with social welfare officials show that in the last couple of years, another 90 to 100 students settled for colleges with lesser fee. This was after they cracked tests to join leading institutions like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences; Central Institute of Technology, Kokrajhar; Banaras Hindu University; Indian Institute of Science Education and Research; National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU); Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU), etc.
"I had to pay Rs 2.3 lakh as first-year fee to secure my admission in NFSU. For the five-year course, it would cost at least Rs 14 lakh. We couldn't arrange the money as my mother, a farmer, is the only earning member in the family," said P Archana, who also secured admission into RRU. "Now I am waiting for Central Universities Common Entrance Test counselling as fee in central universities is comparatively low," said Archana.
Also compelled to give up her place at NFSU was, S Samiksha, as her parents who work as daily-wage labourers could not arrange the money.
She is now waiting for ICAR counselling. "We asked everyone around to help with the fee amount, but nobody did anything," she said, adding that her aim in life now is to hold a senior position in an organisation and take care of her parents.

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