Published: 31st December 2019
Despite continued protests, JNU asks students to pay hiked hostel fees from January 1
The circular released by JNU's IHA that lays down the revised hostel fees for students, mentions that it is in compliance with the decision and approval of the Executive Council
The Jawaharlal Nehru University's Inter Hall Administration (IHA) released a circular on Monday laying down the revised hostel charges that will be implemented from January 1, 2020. The students have been asked to pay the revised fees at the time of registration for the winter semester.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), in a document earlier this month, explaining the modifications to the charges, had stated, "After detailed discussions, the following agreements have been reached — a) The hostel fee as revised from Rs. 10 per month to Rs 300 per month (double room), and from Rs 20 per month to Rs 600 per month (single room) will be payable. The BPL students will get 50 per cent concession. The UGC will bear the cost of service and utility charges proposed till further orders. The above proposal of change in the fee structure shall be ratified by convening IHA meeting as per the university Statutes."
The IHA circular released on December 30 is in accordance with the MHRD's statement. The room rent (single) for all students is Rs 600 per month, for BPL category students it is Rs 300 for single occupancy, room rent (double) for all students is Rs 300 a month while for BPL students it is a 50 per cent concession- Rs 150. It also states that all students have to pay a medical fee of Rs 500.
The circular mentions that it is in compliance with the decision and approval of the Executive Council. However, the students at JNU, who have been protesting for more than two months now, said that they have always demanded a rollback of the fee hike. "What the JNU administration has done on 30 December is nothing short of a conceit and a desperate effort to mislead the student community. It does not appear that the administration is really interested in any reliable means and resolution. The administration is not only making an exponential hike in room rent but has also surreptitiously hiked the medical fees for all regular students to Rs 500," the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union (JNUSU) said in a statement on Tuesday.
"This entire pretense of the VC of 'normalcy' by going as per older academic schedule is collectively being rejected by both students and teachers. What they're seeking to do through differential registration process is break the unity amongst students. The statement from the Admin is silent on whether the service and utility charges have been categorically withdrawn or can re-appear at any later stage. The differential fee structure based on BPL category has no actual ground assessment of students' backgrounds and can not be accepted on any condition. The introduction of a hitherto unseen medical fee shows that this Admin is capable of adding minutes to agendas of statutory meetings retrospectively which is why we want a complete rollback and a reconvening of the IHA meeting from where the manual can be discussed along with JNUSU," said Apeksha Priyadarshini, a member of students' organisation BASO and a councillor of JNUSU.
JNUSU Vice President Saket Moon added that "The JNUSU had communicated to the administration in the meetings that all fee hike must be rolled back without any further delay. Moreover, IHA meeting later can be convened with all constituents to democratically discuss and deliberate the issue. However, it is clearly evident that the JNU administration is determined to wilfully disregard the situation and continue a crisis of its own making."
The JNUSU has also alleged that the administration has been using several tactics to coerce students. "The JNUSU also notes that the administration’s continuous vindictive attitude towards students in the umpteen form of proctorial enquiries and harsh punitive actions like academic suspension, hostel eviction and out of bounds orders, without even any pretension of farcical enquiries, contravenes the good faith with which JNUSU had entered into dialogue with the administration," their statement said.
The student body states that they will not accept any such diktats and will "fight tooth and nail until the administration is forced to withdraw all these unjust acts." And finally, the JNUSU has also requested all the students, who have received such enquiries to not cooperate with the enquiry process.