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“Skills are cheap , chemistry is expensive” , words by Mal Pancoast are turning out to be true for the students of Delhi University. University has handed over the rate cards for the use of laboratory  to it’s students for the Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany. The students will now have to pay a certain amount for the use of lab intruments starting from Rs 20 per litre of liquid nitrogen rising to Rs 100 per hour for the circular dichroism spectroscopy, a form of light absorption spectroscopy, to Rs 2,000 per sample of single-crystal XRD.

University science instrumentation centre (USIC), which has been providing students free lab facilities since 1984 with the support of the Union Grants Commission and Indo-Japanese aid, is now costing it’s students 300-400 Rs per day. The science students of DU have demanded an ease in the system and have questioned the funds, raised by the University to maintain it’s labs. USIC director S Murugavel  has not yet responded to the plea of the students.

An important decision to be taken at it’s earliest; since many of the students of the University who are not economically sound and are studying on scholarship are the ones who’ll be suffering the most. An average expense of 400 Rs per day will definitely not please most of them. Students who are paying for their studies deserve to get college facilities for free or at a minimal rate. Raising funds and providing students with the basic amenities is the responsibility of the authorities.

Students demanding their rights for the same have written to the director of USIC but have not received any response yet. According to the report, 248 students — 128 from the chemistry department, 43 from physics, 35 from botany and 42 from the zoology department — have signed a letter stating that researchers weren’t consulted before such a big decision was implemented. The answer is much awaited as the students find themselves amidst the confusion!

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