As students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) intensified their protest on Wednesday for a rollback of the hostel fee hike, among other demands, the authorities seem to have partially given in to the demands.
The varsity's Executive Council met Wednesday to discuss the ongoing crisis and the body has decided to partially roll back the hostel fees hike, which was a major bone of contention between the administration and students. The university has also proposed a financial assistance scheme for students from the economically weaker sections of the society to help alleviate the burden of revised hostel and mess fees for students.
PTI quoted sources to report that the room rent which was raised to Rs 600 from Rs 20 for single occupancy will now be Rs 200. Similarly, for double occupancy, the rent was hiked from Rs 10 to Rs 300. The amount will now be Rs 100.
The decision was taken in the varsity's Executive Council (EC) meeting which had to be shifted outside the campus at the last moment due to fears of an agitation by students.
The JNU Teachers' Association too had lent support to the student's cause. JNUTA president DK Lobiyal said the association condemns the decision to shift the venue.
"We have a range of issues, apart from the hostel manual, like promotion of teachers. For the last three-four years, even the Academic Council meetings have been postponed or shifted. We condemn it and the VC should not handle the university like this," Lobiyal said.
"The meeting was supposed to be held at the convention centre inside the campus but when three Executive Council members — professors Sachidanand Sinha, Moushumi Basu and Baviskar Sharad Prahlad — reached the venue, there was no meeting," Lobiyal added.
The students have been demanding the withdrawal of the draft hostel manual, in which service charges of Rs 1,700 were introduced and the one-time mess security fee, which is refundable, has been hiked from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000. Students have been highlighting that as per JNU's own annual report, around 40 percent of the students admitted in 2017 had a parental income of less than Rs 12,000 per month, which means the collective increase in fees of mess and hostel etc would have exceeded many student's monthly family income. Other issues include alleged imposition of curfew timings and a dress code for students.
The students had on Monday staged a protest outside the AICTE, the venue for the convocation. As the protests escalated, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' was stuck inside for over six hours and forced to cancel two scheduled events.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Nov 13, 2019 17:32:14 IST