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JNU partially rolls back fee hike after protests

JNU students protest the fee hikes outside the admin building on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

JNU students protest the fee hikes outside the admin building on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

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The Jawaharlal Nehru University Executive Council’s decision to “partially roll-back” a hostel fee increase on Wednesday failed to pacify students who have been protesting against it since October 28. The JNU Students’ Union called the “roll-back” a gimmick and demanded a complete scrapping of the planned increase. The union added that the university had not communicated anything to it and that the media was the only source of information.

Appealing to students to call off their protests and return to their studies, JNU’s Vice Chancellor tweeted: “The Executive Council of JNU gives major concessions based on student feedback. JNU administration appeals to the protesting students to resume their academic activities.”

The Registrar said that after detailed discussions, the structure of hostel fees had been approved by the Executive Council, with measures to provide for students from weaker sections. “The EC decided that all the students belonging to below poverty line (BPL) category, excluding those who have JRF, SRF and other equivalent fellowships/Scholarships either from outside organizations or JNU, are eligible to be given 50% of concession in the hostel charges,” the Registrar said. He added that all BPL category students receiving Non-NET fellowship and MCM scholarships will also be eligible for this 50% concession.

The registrar noted that the one time (refundable) mess security deposit for all categories of students had also been rolled back from ₹12,000 to ₹5,500.

The room rent for a single seater at JNU’s hostels has been raised from ₹20 per month to ₹600 per month for all students. BPL students would have to pay ₹300 for the same room. For a double seater, the room rent which used to be ₹10 per month and has now been increased to ₹300 a month. BPL students need to pay ₹150 a month for the same room. Utility charges and service charges would be charged as per actuals and BPL students would get a 50% concession on the actuals.

The JNUSU said that the student community unanimously “rejects” the EC’s decision that had alienated the student community from the decision making process. “The administration has refused to recognise our right to influence the decisions that in turn influence our entire academic life,” the union said.

The JNUSU said “A Rs. 100 fee “roll-back” is not charity and is actually an insult to the very idea of dignified public education. There will not be an increase of even a single rupee and we will not accept any compromise on the issue,” the JNUSU said. The students aid that they would continue their movement and occupy the administration block.

The Registrar also announced the decision of the EC that the clauses in the draft hostel manual that state that “The residents should be back in their respective hostels latest by 11.00 pm or by half an hour after time for library closing, whichever is later” and “All residents and guests should come to the dining hall appropriately dressed” will be deleted.

The JNU administration appealed to students to resume academic work as the revised hostel fee will protect the careers of thousands of students from any further harm.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 12:45:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jnu-rolls-back-hike-in-hostel-fee/article29962840.ece

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