Hike in hostel fees will force us to discontinue studies: JNU students

JNUSU continues protest against proposed ‘mammoth’ increase in charges

November 07, 2019 01:41 am | Updated November 28, 2021 11:13 am IST - New Delhi

JNUSU students staging a protest march to AICTE Auditorium for resistance against the regressive hostel manual and anti-student policies of JNU administration, in New Delhi on Monday.

JNUSU students staging a protest march to AICTE Auditorium for resistance against the regressive hostel manual and anti-student policies of JNU administration, in New Delhi on Monday.

Thousands of students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Wednesday continued their protest against a revised hostel manual that proposes a “mammoth” increase in hostel fees.

Cutting across political affiliations, the students have demanded a roll-back of the fee hike as they feel that several students would have to discontinue their studies if the new rates are introduced.

In a press statement explaining the hike in hostel fees, the university Registrar said that room rent for a single seater has been increased from ₹20 to ₹600; for double seater, the fee has gone up from ₹10 to ₹300 per month.

The one-time refundable mess security deposit has been increased from ₹5,500 to ₹12,000. Utility and service charges will also now be applicable.

The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) said that the proposed fee hike is unacceptable as a majority of the students come from rural backgrounds, deprived sections, and middle income families, and depend on scholarships to study at JNU.

“More than 40% of students belong to families with annual income below ₹1.44 lakh, the poverty cut-off line, as suggested by the annual reports of JNU. Bachelors and Masters students are dependent on the Merit Cum Means Scholarships, which is ₹2,000 per month, and MPhil and PhD students are dependent on the UGC Non Net Scholarship, which is ₹5,000 per month. How will students survive and pay the amount that is more than their scholarships?” the JNUSU said.

 

The Registrar said that room rent has been hiked to create better hostel facilities. The university justified the increase in mess security citing increasing defaulters.

“The revision of rates by the Inter Hostel Administration (IHA) committee has been done after more than a decade. The room rents have not been revised in the last three decades. There is no massive hike in hostel fee and the JNU administration appeals to the students not to be misled by rumours that are trying to derail normal functioning of the university,” the Registrar said.

Protesting students said that over the past week they had made several attempts to reach out to the administration but to no avail. Instead, the students said, they have been receiving show-cause notices from the Proctor’s office imposing hefty fines for showing dissent.

“The administration has abdicated any and all sense of responsibility. The IHA meeting on October 28, which passed the draft hostel manual, did not allow the JNUSU, who are members of the IHA committee, to attend the meeting. The elected hostel presidents, who are also members of the panel, were informed about the meeting 10 minutes before it began,” the JNUSU said.

The union also claimed that students are reaching out to hostel wardens and provosts in charge of hostel clusters to reject the revised hostel manual. They also claimed that two provosts had resigned in support of the students. The university administration, however, said that no provosts have resigned.

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