The HRD Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal, told the Parliament that the fee hike in JNU was done in order to meet the expenditures of maintaining hostels. The HRD Minister, in a written reply, mentioned that the hike in the room rent has been made after 40 years.
Earlier the rent for the double and single rooms were Rs 10 and Rs 20 respectively, and the rent for all the students including the students belonging to BPL category with Junior Research Fellowship and other equivalent scholarships has been increased to Rs 600 and Rs 300 per month.
Also, the rent for BPL students for single and double seater rooms have been increased to Rs 150 and Rs 300 per month respectively.
The minister was also asked if other universities were also witnessing a hike in the fee structure to which he replied that central universities, including JNU, were autonomous institutions governed by certain acts and ordinances and all administrative and academic decisions are taken by the Universities with approval from statutory bodies. He also added that there is no information maintained centrally.
The students’ agitation has been taking place for a month now, and JNU has formed an internal committee of seven members which is a high-level committee to look into this matter.
In the committee report, the members have recommended a 50 percent concession in the utility and service charges for all the students, and it has also recommended a 75 percent concession for the BPL students.
This was, however, the second roll back that was announced by the University while the first rollback was announced in November. The students are demanding for a complete rollback and have rejected both the rollbacks announced by the University.
In demand for complete rollbacks, the students have carried out protests for over a month now and have rejected both the recommendations made by the University’s administration.
The students also raised an issue during the third convocation ceremony and also blocked the way of the HRD Minister and the Vice-Chancellor.
The agitation was finally intervened by the Delhi Police when the University’s administration announced the concessions for the students but however, it failed to calm the students. However, the minister and the Vice-Chancellor could only go out after the involvement of the Delhi Police.
Recently, the MHRD high- power committee is handling the situation, and after several meetings with the students and the representatives, the administration has given certain recommendations.
The Ministry has formed this high- powered committee to restore the normal functioning of the University and according to the latest notification; it seems that the panel has submitted its report last week.