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Fee Hike in JNU Done to Meet Increased Expenditure on Maintenance of Hostels: HRD Ministry

In a written reply to a question over the JNU hostel fee hike, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that the varsity has increased room rents after around 40 years.


Updated:December 5, 2019, 4:58 PM IST
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Fee Hike in JNU Done to Meet Increased Expenditure on Maintenance of Hostels: HRD Ministry
File photo of Union Minister for Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank' (Image: LSTV Grab/PTI)

New Delhi: HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal "Nishank" told Parliament on Thursday that the fee hike in JNU was effected in order to meet the increased expenditure on maintenance of hostels and to run those on a "no-profit-no-loss" basis.

In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha over the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) hostel fee hike, which has led to an agitation by students, the minister said the university increased the room rents after around 40 years.

"JNU has informed that in order to meet the increased expenditure on the maintenance of hostels and to run them on a no profit no loss basis, it has increased room rents after about forty years," he said.

Earlier, the rent was Rs 10 and Rs 20 for double and single-occupancy rooms respectively.

The rent for all students, including those in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category with Junior Research Fellowship, Senior Research Fellowship and other equivalent scholarships or fellowships, for single and double-seater rooms has been hiked to Rs 600 and Rs 300 per month.

The rent for BPL students for double and single-seater rooms has been increased to Rs 150 and Rs 300 per month.

Earlier, there was no utility and service charge, but now the university will charge BPL students Rs 500 and other students Rs 1,000 for the same.

The minister was also asked whether other universities were witnessing an increase in the fee structure.

Central universities, including JNU, were autonomous institutions and governed by the respective acts, statutes and ordinances made there, the minister said.

"All administrative and academic decisions, including fee revision, are taken by the university with the approval of its statutory bodies, such as Academic Council, Executive Council and Court. However, no information is maintained centrally in this regard," he added.

The protests over the hostel fee hike have been going on for over a month now.

JNU had constituted an internal seven-member high-level committee to look into the issue. In its report, the committee recommended a 50-per cent concession in utility and service charges for all students and a 75-per cent concession for BPL students.

This was the second rollback announced by the university. The first one was announced in mid-November.

Students have rejected both the rollbacks and have been on a strike for over a month. They are demanding a complete rollback.

The ministry had also constituted a high-powered committee to restore normal functioning in the university. The panel submitted its report last week.

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