Yesterday, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) issued a statement giving grounds to their decision of increasing the fee for students of the university. They said that the university is facing a deficit of over Rs. 45 crores. JNU said that a ‘misinformation’ campaign is being run on the fee hike issue for over 3 weeks now.
JNU, in the statement, pointed out that the deficit is mainly caused the high salary of contractual staff, water charges, and electricity bills. They said that the UGC (University Grants Commission) does not allow JNU to pay the salaries of these 450 plus contractual employees from the salary of head of the budget.
According to the statement ‘The UGC has given clear instructions to JNU that all shortfalls in the non salary expenditures should be met by using the internal receipts generated by the University’. Adding to this they said ‘thus, there is no alternative for the IHA (Inter-Hall Administration) than to collect service charges from the students’.
According to the estimates, a general category student would pay around Rs. 4,500/ month as per the revised hostel fee and charges, out of which, Rs. 2,300 are food charges. This means Rs. 2,200 is the amount students need to pay extra as utility charges.
If we talk about the BPL students, they do not even have to pay the whole amount of the utility charges, JNU has asked them to pay only half the amount, i.e. Rs. 1,100/month for utilities.
A BPL category student will have to pay around Rs. 3,400/month in total.
JNU said that this calculations should give a clearer picture as there has been an ongoing misinformation campaign alleging that the hostel fee hike in JNU is gigantic.
The administration said ‘In reality service charges are being levied, which have been zero so far’. They added that ‘for sustainability of the university budget which has run into huge deficit, it is necessary to levy the service charges in the hostel’.
JNU discredited the risen propaganda which says that huge number of poor students will be greatly affected if the revised hostel charges are implemented. The statement mentions ‘it may be noted that out of around 6,000 students who are residing in the hostels, 5,371 students receive financial assistance in the form of fellowships and scholarships’.
The university also shunned the reports which said that if the charges are revised, JNU will stand closer to other Central Universities in terms of charges. JNU says ‘It needs to be underlined that JNU does not charge developmental fees, unlike other universities’. They continued by adding ‘the admission fee in JNU has been minimal for decades and no revision has taken place for more than four decades’.
The Central University of Hyderabad charges admission fee of Rs. 10,000/ year, while JNU only charges close to Rs. 300/ year.
It’s been over three week now that JNU students have been protesting against the draft hostel manual. The manual have provisions of curfew timings, and dress codes apart from the hike in hostel charges.