Teachers’ body slams university, protest to continue,
New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University on Wednesday decided to partially rollback the hike in hostel fees following a 16-day agitation, but the changes were termed “cosmetic” and “misleading” by students and members of teachers association. The decision was taken in varsity’s Executive Council (EC) meeting which had to be shifted outside the campus at the last moment fearing agitation by students.
“JNU Executive Committee announces major rollback in the hostel fee and other stipulations. Also proposes a scheme for economic assistance to the EWS students. Time to get back to classes,” HRD secretary R Subrahmanyam tweeted.
According to sources, 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 `300. The amount will now be Rs 100.
A representative of the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA), said: We will issue a statement when we have clear information. If the reports are to be believed, there is a no rollback but only cosmetic changes have been made.”
The representative also added that they do not consider the Executive Council legitimate since eight members were not present as the administration did not inform them about the change in venue of the meeting. The JNU students’ union (JNUSU) said it will continue its struggle till the time the hostel manual is not discussed with them.
“The JNU community has received no communication whatsoever regarding this. The said EC meeting has happened without any communication or consultation. If it has passed the IHA Manual without consultation, which includes curfew timings, permission for adult students for going out for a day and regressive notions on dress code we reject it,” the JNUSU said in a statement.
On the issue of the fee hike, there are unconfirmed reports that the so-called major rollback has happened only for room rent, they said. “Our issue substantively is not just with the room rent but the Rs 1700 service charge, water and electricity charge which was zero and has been steeply hiked,” they said.
“The HRD secretary while announcing the so-called rollback has the arrogance to advise us to ‘go back to classes’. With the fee hike still in place, students will be going out of classes and out of JNU. We reject this sham propaganda and selective usage of facts,” they said.
Former JNUSU president N Sai Balaji termed the HRD secretary’s tweet as “misleading”. “The HRD Secretary tweet on ‘major rollback’ of fee hike is misleading! In order to save their face and create a false narrative, JNU admin in collusion with Modi government is fooling students and people of this country #JNUFeeHikeRemains!” Balaji tweeted.
The simmering discontent among the JNU students community against the university administration over the proposed fee hike took form of a massive protest on Monday with students registering their protest in front of Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ who was stuck inside for over six hours and forced to cancel two scheduled events.