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Protesting JNU students and administration contradict each other's claims; steer clear of 'rumour mongers', says varsity

  • The ongoing clashes between the protesting students of Jawaharlal Nehru University and the varsity's administration have taken a new turn

  • While the JNUSU continues to strike against the dress code and curfew timings, the administration denies the claims of 'fresh introductions' to its guidelines

  • On 1 November, the authorities released a press note explaining how the notion of "fresh introductions" was completely untrue while requesting the university to not be misled by 'motivated students' and 'rumour mongers who are derailing the normal functioning of the university through their unlawful actions'

The ongoing clashes between the protesting students of Jawaharlal Nehru University and the varsity's administration have taken a new turn. While the JNUSU continues to strike against the dress code and curfew timings, the administration denies the claims of "fresh introductions" to its guidelines.

On 1 November, the authorities released a press note explaining how the notion of "fresh introductions" was completely untrue while requesting the university to not be misled by "motivated students" and "rumour mongers who are derailing the normal functioning of the university through their unlawful actions".

As per the old manual, 3.6.2 DINING HALL reads “residents and guests should come to the dining hall properly dressed,” while the new one reads exactly the same except that the word “proper” is replaced with “appropriate”.

The administration insists that, “Both are synonyms with the same meaning. Since there is no dress code prescribed either in the old hostel manual or the new hostel manual, it is ultimately left to the individual to decide what is appropriate when dining in the dining hall.”

 Protesting JNU students and administration contradict each others claims; steer clear of rumour mongers, says varsity

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In light of these minor changes, students took to Twitter and claimed that this was not the first time the management has sneakily tried to invade their personal space.

Further, they also claimed that the administration did not consult them before preparing the draft of the approved manual. Officials released a press note claiming that they are open to participate in a constructive dialogue and have had made several attempts for conducting discussions.

However, students continue to claim that vice-chancellor M Jagadeesh Kumar had failed to meet with them since they began objecting to the plan nearly a fortnight ago.

Despite the new changes in the manual regarding dress code and curfew timings, the core of the protest is the fee hike which students claim makes their fees 999 percent higher than what they paid earlier. A statement from the JNUSU claimed that the increased hostel fees were "a whopping 999 percent more than the earlier one". It also mentioned that more than 40 percent of the institution's students had a yearly income that fell below the poverty line.

Students said that a draft hostel manual that was circulated on 4 October mentioned that the hostel mess security deposit had been increased to Rs 12,000 from Rs 5,500. In addition, the authorities also proposed an increase in hostel fees from Rs 20 to Rs 600 for a single room, and from Rs 10 to Rs 300 for a shared room. With that the students would also have to pay Rs 1,700 for maintenance services. The protesting students also alleged that this fee hike would deprive students from marginalised communities of education.

JNUSU 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."

Responding to the massive protests that have been going on since 28 October, the administration clarified the reasons behind the fee hike in a press note earlier this month.

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JNUSU president and AISA national president, N Sai Balaji took to Twitter and said that the vice-chancellor had mismanaged JNU's internal revenue to the tune of  Rs 16 crore.

This tweet accompanied by the hashtag #FeesMustFall also comes as a response to the administration’s clarification and to the Twitter users who used hashtags like #JNUFreebies, #ShutdownJNU.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 13, 2019 13:43:45 IST