Thousands of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students clashed with the police on Monday during their protest against a steep fee hike. The students are demanding withdrawal of the draft hostel manual approved by the inter-hall administration, 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.
The rent for a single-seater room has been increased from Rs 20 per month to Rs 600 per month, while rent for a double-seater room has been increased to Rs 300 per month from Rs 10 per month. The draft hostel manual also has provisions for dress code and curfew timings, the students' union alleged.
|Particulars||Existing Charges||Revised charges|
|Mess Bill||As per actual||As per actual|
|Establishment Charges||Rs 1,100 per semester||Rs 1,100 per semester|
|Crockery, Utensils||Rs 250 per year||Rs 250 per year|
|Newspaper||Rs 50 per year||Rs 50 per year|
|Room rent - single seater||Rs 20 per month||Rs 600 per month|
|Room rent - double seater||Rs 10 per month||Rs 300 per month|
|Utility charges||Nil||As per actual|
|Service Charges||Nil||Rs 1,700 per month (estimate, but to be charges as per acrtual)|
|One time mess security (refundable)||Rs 5,500||Rs 12,000|
In a statement, the JNU Students' Union said, “More than 40 percent of students belong to families with annual income below Rs 1.44 lakh, the poverty cut-off line, as suggested by the annual reports of JNU. Bachelors and Masters students are dependent on the Merit Cum Means Scholarships, which is Rs 2,000 per month, and MPhil and PhD students are dependent on the UGC Non Net Scholarship, which is Rs 5,000 per month. How will students survive and pay the amount that is more than their scholarships?”
"Due to the 999 percent fee hike that is being imposed on us, the university today faces an unprecedented crisis, with an overwhelming number of its students facing a threat to their academic future. For a university where a majority of students come from the most marginalised backgrounds in this country, it is no wonder that many of the degree receiving students participating in the convocation also joined the protest. The 999 percent fee hike from Rs 2,740 to Rs 30,100 annually must be rolled back immediately," the statement said.
A protesting student told PTI, "The hostel fee has been increased by 300 percent. Where will the students stay and study if this happens with us." Students said the strike would not end until the hostel manual is withdrawn.
JNU students' union vice-president Saket Moon said, "The fee hike will affect an overwhelming number of students. It denies those from the deprived sections to avail education if they cannot pay. It affects those people who are pursing education independently."
Ragini, a student of MA English, told The Print, “Earlier, students only had to pay a refundable deposit of Rs 5,000 and then Rs 2,000-3,000 for the mess food. Now, the university wants to charge the students for everything and is not providing any subsidised water or electricity. Students will now have to pay close to Rs 30,000 a semester, excluding the mess fees and other provisions.”
Additionally, almost 40 Tibetan refugee students residing in India who cleared the Jawaharlal Nehru University Entrance Examination (JNUEE) this year could not take admission because of a steep fee hike. Under JNU's new fee policy for international students for the in-absentia category, the fee for courses in Science Disciplines was raised from $850 (including incidental charges) to $1700 (including incidental charges) per semester.
The fee for courses in Humanities and Social Science was raised from $600 (including incidental charges) to $1200 (including incidental charges) per semester. For foreign students who reside in India and take admission through JNUEE (which is a computer-based test), the fee for courses in Science Disciplines and Humanities and Social Science was raised from $100 (plus Rs 250 incidental charges per semester) to $1700 and $1200 (including incidental charges) per semester, respectively.
Still remember the initial semesters when mess would be closed on certain festivals & many of us would worry for dinner coz JNU's cheap dhabas too were too much for us. Thanks to subsidised mess food and MCM scholarship, I could study to be a taxpayer. #JNUProtest
— Shahnawaz شاہ نواز (@shahnawazk) November 11, 2019
You can’t understand JNU, the way I couldn’t understand before I took admission here and came to know that parents of my batchmates were golgappa sellers,daily labourers, sanitary workers etc.
You can’t imagine their struggle stories & that’s why you can’t understand #jnuprotest
— Akansha (@a4akanxa) November 11, 2019
JNU fee hike would forever shut the doors of the univ for the poor & underpriviliged - this also includes the children of cops who roughed up JNU students yesterday.
— Umar Khalid (@UmarKhalidJNU) November 12, 2019
Some context on JNU
• The fee hike would mean a student pays roughly Rs 2,500-3,000 more per month
• This is excluding the mess bill, another Rs 2,500, and utility charges
• 40% of students in the university have parental income of Rs 12,000 a month of less
— Rahul Sabharwal (@rubberneckin) November 12, 2019
Protests escalated through the day on Monday with angry students demanding a roll back of the fee hike and breaking barricades set up by the anti-riot police. The police, in turn, deployed water cannons and detained protestors in the hope to disperse crowds.
"Police ko aage karta hai, JNU VC darta hai" (JNU VC keeps police in front as he is afraid), "police-walo ki ek bimari, Tis Hazari, Tis Hazari", referring to their clash with lawyers at the city's Tis Hazari court and “humein chahiye azaadi curfew se, dress code se” reverberated in the air.
The JNU Teachers' Association said many students were injured during the protest as they received blows. According to a police officer, many policemen and women also sustained injuries as they tried to quell the protest.
“The revision of rates by the Inter Hostel Administration (IHA) committee has been done after more than a decade. The room rents have not been revised in the last three decades. There is no massive hike in hostel fee and the JNU administration appeals to the students not to be misled by rumours that are trying to derail normal functioning of the university,” the Registrar said.
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Updated Date: Nov 12, 2019 19:30:03 IST