Fee issue sorted, protest by JNU students not justified: HRD Minister

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (file image)

Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Monday said the hostel fee hike issue of Jawaharlal Nehru University has been resolved and any continuation of protest by students is not justified.

“The fee-related matter of JNU has been sorted out following several rounds of discussions with representatives of university students and teachers. The Ministry had constituted a High-Powered Committee (HPC) to restore the normal functioning of JNU through dialogue with all stakeholders and to advise the university administration for resolution of contentious issues,” the minister said in a statement, news agency PTI reported.

The minister also said that the utility and service charge are not being levied and will be borne by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

“The students are not being asked to bear the cost of service and utility charges proposed for the winter session, which was their basic demand. Therefore, the JNU fee hike issue stands resolved and continuation of agitation by the students is no longer justified,” he said.

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The statement further said about 5,000 students have already registered for the new semester. Roughly 7,500 students are studying in JNU.

In October last year, the JNU administration had decided to raise the fee, citing that it hadn’t been revised for 19 years. Under the new hostel charges, students were to pay a service charge of Rs 1,700 per month.

Rent for a single room was increased from Rs 20 per month to Rs 600 per month, and for a double-sharing room from Rs 10 per month to Rs 300 per month.

However, the JNUSU opposed the fee hike, saying the university’s annual reports to suggest that more than 40 % of JNU students come from lower-income groups and would not be able to afford the hike.

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