India: University ordered to scrap plan to charge students for campus walks

Pune - The university had planned to charge 1,000 rupees (Dh50) to allow students to take morning and evening walks inside the campus.

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Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

By Web Report

Published: Sat 12 Jun 2021, 1:40 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Jun 2021, 1:41 PM

For hundreds of residents staying in and around the sprawling, 400-acre campus of Savitribai Phule Pune University, Maharashtra walking in the lush campus environment, listening to birds and watching other creatures and breathing the fresh air has been a daily exercise for decades, both in the mornings and evenings.

But some ‘wise people’ in the university recently decided to ‘capitalise’ on people’s fondness for nature and slapped a 1,000-rupee (Dh50) monthly fee for the ‘privilege’ of walking in the campus and de-stressing themselves. Fortunately, better sense prevailed and Uday Samant, Maharashtra’s education minister ordered the university to scrap the controversial decision.

Pune university was renamed after Savitribai Phule, a 19th century social reformer, known for her contribution for the emancipation of women through education.

“SPPU was going to start a scheme called SPPU Oxy Park under which common citizens would have to pay fees for morning and evening walks on campus” tweeted the minister. “This decision has been suspended and they have been asked to restructure the scheme.”

Prafulla Pawar, the university registrar confirmed the move and said the scheme will be restructured later. The university’s decision was widely condemned by people on social media, forcing the authorities to pull back the controversial order.

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