After this new proposal, they will have to pay over Rs 72,000 annually apart from the additional 10 per cent hike every year.
New Delhi: For Ravi Shankar, a PG student (Economics), the proposed hostel fee hike and other rules at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are draconian and giving him sleepless nights as the way the authorities are reacting is undemocratic.
Apart from Shankar, scores of students protested on Monday against the varsity’s proposed move to increase the hostel charges, along with electricity and water bills, as they felt such a move would force them to discontinue their studies.
A native of West Champaran who has been residing in Narmada hostel, Mr Shankar said it was with great difficulty that his family has been providing him financial assistance in pursuing his studies.
Mr Shankar said that so far he had to pay just `10 every month. But if the new hostel rates are implemented, he would have to shell out `300 as rental along with additional electricity and water charges.
“Even the security deposit has been increased from `5,000 to `10,000,” he said.
Sambid Verma from Uttar Pradesh said that hostel fee hike is a regressive financial burden on students belonging to the marginalised sections of the society.
Mr Verma, who is pursuing his MPhil (History), said he lost his father in 2012 and his mother, who works for NGO Asha, is the main bread earner in his family.
Mr Verma, like others, has also been protesting against the varsity’s proposal to maintain strict hostel timings and dress code for female students.
“In JNU, more than 40 per cent of the students are those for whom even `300 is a big deal. They are trying to kill our right to education,” he said.
Another student residing in Koyna hostel alleged that the authorities were indirectly trying to take away the right to education from the students by “privatising” the university. “The main issue is the hike in hostel fee and power and water bills, which students will have to pay. As far as hostel timings and dress code are concerned, we are not going to follow them. They can’t treat us like school children. After all, we are all grown up adults who understand their responsibilities.”
According to the JNU, more than 40 per cent students have an annual family income of less than `1,80,000. After this new proposal, they will have to pay over `72,000 annually apart from the additional 10 per cent hike every year.
“They are, in a way, forcing students to leave education,” said another student, Salim, adding that even the way they are working is against JNU’s conditions as they are not taking the student’s body into confidence.