UD researchers protest analytical instrument fees

Some researchers have written to Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh to withdraw an order which announced that researchers would be charged fees for the use of various sophisticated analytical instruments.

They also protested the issue at the university on Friday.

Dean of Colleges at Delhi University, Prof. Balaram Pani said the university charges a nominal fee.

The fees are applicable for sophisticated analytical instruments maintained by the University’s Scientific Instrumentation Center (USIC) and range from Rs 20 to Rs 300. The fees came into effect on May 1.

According to the letter written by the researchers: “We consider this act to be very disheartening and implemented without a sincere thought process. We all joined this esteemed university with enthusiasm and plan to work hard and contribute to science. The good and easily available instrumentation contributes greatly to the quality of research.”

The letter further noted that most of the research groups have very limited research funding, which includes the contingency amount (provided by UGC/CSIR).

“The available funds are not even enough to buy chemical solvents/reagents, glassware, etc. and we somehow manage to continue the research,” he said.

They urged the VC to immediately withdraw said notification.

Pani said the university charges a nominal fee and the fee would not be a financial burden1 since students also receive scholarships.

“The instruments had not been in working order for two or three years. They were repaired with the help of Eminence Institute funds. Students paid higher fees to use the instruments outside , but they are available for a nominal fee inside the university.”