Published: 05th March 2020
JNU Fee Hike: Admission fees tripled, medical fees increased by Rs 1k. Students' Union to protest
Sources at the university said that this hike in medical fees is for setting up better healthcare facilities on campus, but the JNUTA said that this is an attempt to reduce dependence on public funds
The fee hike protests at the Jawaharlal Nehru University that had caused an uproar across the country last year is set to start again as the new prospectus released for admissions for the academic year 2020-21 shows an increase of 164 per cent (PhD, MTech, MPhil) and 171 per cent (MA, MSc, MCA, BA) in pre-enrolment fees along with an increase of Rs 991 in annual medical fees. The JNUSU will protest at the Sabarmati Dhaba on March 5 and in front of the Dean of Students' office on March 6 to raise this issue.
The pre-enrolment fees have to be paid by an applicant to secure his or her seat after the admission is confirmed and this includes the basic tuition fees — the mess charges and additional fees are paid in instalment later. Till last year an applicant for PhD, MTech or MPhil had to pay Rs 295 and someone applying for MSc, MA, MCA or BA Honours had to pay Rs 283 — this year it has exponentially increased to Rs 780 and Rs 768 respectively. The medical fees, which was Rs 9 till last year, has leapt to Rs 1000 for the year 2020-21. "The fee hike is seeping into the University again. But we will fight it again. JNU community needs to unite to stop this," said JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh.
While sources at the university said that this hike in medical fees is for setting up better healthcare facilities on campus, the JNU Teachers' Association said that this is an attempt to reduce dependence on public funding. "This decision on medical fees only reveals the fact that the revision in hostel charges was only one part of a larger move towards raising the charges levied on students and reducing the dependence on public funding – a part of the assault on inclusive public education that the students are agitating against," said Surajit Mazumdar, Secretary JNUTA. "We had opposed it when they decided on it in December in an Executive Council meeting and we oppose it now."
Students also alleged that the union members or student representatives were not part of the meeting that decided these changes nor was there any representation from the JNUTA. "This decision was taken in an undemocratic way and we have been trying to get in touch with the administration but we have not been able to reach them since the prospectus came out yesterday," said JNUSU Vice-President Saket Moon. "We will protest at the Sabarmati Dhaba today and in front of the Dean of Students' office tomorrow to raise this issue. This is an attempt to privatise the healthcare of the varsity, moving away from the public-funded setup," he added.