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JNU fee-hike row: VC-hostel presidents talks fail to make headway

JNU students protest on the campus on Thursday.

JNU students protest on the campus on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

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According to students, the VC did not reply to the demands for a complete roll-back of the fee hike and the need to hold a fresh Inter-Hall Administration meeting in a democratic manner

Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar on Thursday held a meeting with hostel presidents to discuss their issues and restore normalcy at the university, but there was no headway as the students’ representatives said “nothing conclusive” came out from the administration side.

The VC met 18 hostel presidents on a day he attended his office first time since the administration block was occupied by protesting students. The Delhi High Court had directed the police on Wednesday to provide adequate security to the VC, registrar and other officials when they enter the administration block on Thursday.

The VC did not reply to the demands for a complete rollback of the fee hike and the need to hold a fresh Inter-Hall Administration (IHA) meeting in a democratic manner, the students said.

Besides the VC, three rectors, the registrar, the Dean and the Associate Deans of Students were present in the meeting, which the varsity administration said was “a significant step towards normalising the situation in the university through deeper dialogue with the students’ leaders“.

During the meeting, the VC informed the students about the discussions he had with the HRD minister, secretary and UGC chairman, and stressed the need to expeditiously restore normal academic activities, including the conduct of the semester-end exams.

The VC explained to the hostel presidents about the revised hostel manual and the issues related to the hostel utility and service charges. The discussions covered a wide range of issues including the extension of the current semester.

“It was a significant step towards normalising the situation in the university through deeper dialogue with the student leaders,” the varsity administration said.

In a statement, however, the hostel presidents said the administration officials tried to convince them that the service and utility charges are justified, but “we did not agree”.

“We said that students will not pay even a single paisa. The VC justified the IHA meeting and said that the meeting was legitimate. We did not agree to such justifications,” they said in the statement.

The VC wanted the Yamuna hostel (fully privatised) model to be applied to all the hostels, they said.

“We rejected such proposals. They even justified the 10% annual hike. Nothing conclusive came out from the administration side. When the hostel presidents started to ask the VC tough questions, he concluded the meeting and ran away,” the statement said.

A meeting with all deans of schools and chairpersons of special centres has also been scheduled to discuss matters related to holding of end-semester examinations.

The administration has also called for a meeting with the candidates who contested for the president’s post in the students’ union elections.

The students boycotted exams on the first day on Thursday in protest against the hike in hostel fees.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:53:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jnu-fee-hike-row-vc-hostel-presidents-talks-fail-to-make-headway/article30286589.ece

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