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‘Why Do We Have To Pay for Lab Instruments Used for Our Research in DU?’

If we calculate the charges, each student will be paying around Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 in a year for using the lab.

My Report
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We, the PhD students of Delhi University, held a protest on 31 May outside the vice-chancellor's office against being asked to pay for using the lab instruments for research.

Our science faculty, which includes Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany etc, were always provided with free instrumentation facility. Now, suddenly, they have started charging us and that is why we are protesting.

We never received any notice as such before this that they will start charging us for the instruments.

Protest held by the students of Delhi University.

(Image courtesy: Mohit Chahal)

They released a notice on only the charges of the instruments on 29 April and right from the next day, we all had to pay for them. It’s been around 1.5 months now since the notice came. All the labs have been closed after that. Nobody is going for sampling now; they are taking Rs 300-400 from us every day.

Notice issued by the University.

(Image courtesy: Mohit Chahal)

Notice issued by the University.

(Image courtesy: Mohit Chahal)

These instruments are used for characterisation of samples. It helps researchers understand the structure and properties of the samples.

'We Cannot Afford to Pay For these Instruments'

Like me, many other PhD students are also struggling with the same issue. It is difficult for us to afford all these instruments.

These instruments are important to us because if we work on any compound synthesis, the first and the basic thing is to get the characterisation done. The basic research is dependent on that. All our samples are kept in the lab now, after they started charging us for these. Our work is pending and our samples are also going to waste.
Ravinder, PhD student

The price to use each sample is different. For some samples, we are supposed to pay Rs 100 and for some, it’s even Rs 1,000.

Lab instruments used by the students.

(Image courtesy: Mohit Chahal)

If we calculate the charges, each student will be paying around Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 in a year. A lot of students don’t have fellowship. How can we afford this then?

Instruments used for characterisation of the samples. 

(Image courtesy: Mohit Chahal)


'We Demand For The Charges To Be Withdrawn'

Our demand to the authorities is that they should take back the charges they have put on the instruments and it should go back to how we were working earlier.

We have been so frustrated over the last month. We should be in labs but we are protesting here. Our work is pending for a long time. Our papers are pending, there are samples we need to work on and characterisations we need to do. We want a solution to this soon so that we can go back to our work.


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Topics:  Protest   Delhi University   PhD Scholar 

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