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4-min read

JNU Decides to Give Concessions to BPL Students, Does Away With Dress Code and Curfew Timings

The hostel fee hike, deadline for students to return to hostels and dress code were the major sticking points against which the university students had been protesting for 16 days.

PTI

Updated:November 13, 2019, 8:25 PM IST
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JNU Decides to Give Concessions to BPL Students, Does Away With Dress Code and Curfew Timings
Police stop JNU students who were staging a protest over the hostel fee hike outside the UGC office at ITO in New Delhi, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (Image: PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University on Wednesday decided to partially roll back the hostel fee hike "only for students below the poverty line category" and removed the provisions for curfew timings and dress code from the hostel manual.

But there have been no changes in the hostel fee structure for BPL students who avail scholarships and for non-BPL students, the varsity said.

The hostel fee hike, deadline for students to return to hostels and dress code were the major sticking points against which the university students had been protesting for 16 days. On Wednesday, their protest forced the JNU administration to shift a meeting of the Executive Council (EC), the highest decision-making body of the university, to a venue outside the campus.

The decisions, including to partially roll back the fee hike, were taken at the EC meeting.

After careful consideration, the EC decided to do away with a few clauses in the Draft Hostel Manual that had drawn the ire of the students, a varsity official said.

He said the eligibility to avail BPL benefits will be determined after submission of requisite certificate by the students and the varsity will be following the norms set by the government.

The draft hostel manual, which was approved by the Inter-Hall Administration Committee on October 28, had a clause which said, "The residents should be back in their respective hostels latest by 11.00 pm or by half an hour after time for library closing, whichever is later.

"Students who are found outside their respective hostel premises after the stipulated time and involving in any violence or otherwise disturbing the peace on campus and privacy of JNU community will be evicted from hostel forthwith apart from any other disciplinary action by the University."

This, it was decided at the EC meeting, will now not be part of the manual.

"All residents and guests should come to the dining hall appropriately dressed," the new manual had said. This too was done away with.

To take care of students coming from weaker sections, the EC decided that all students belonging to the BPL category (excluding those who have Junior Research Fellowship, Senior Research Fellowship and other equivalent fellowships/scholarships either from outside organisations or JNU) are eligible to be given 50 per cent concession in the charges for rooms, utility charges and service charges, the varsity official said.

JRF scholars get Rs 31,000 per month and SRF scholars Rs 35,000 a month.

"In addition, it may be noted that all BPL category students receiving non-NET fellowship and merit-cum-means scholarships will also be eligible for this 50 per cent concession," the official said.

He added the changes will be effective from the 2020 academic session and those belonging to BPL category will have adequate time to produce certificate.

The One-Time (Refundable) Mess Security deposit for all categories of students has been rolled back and the fee now would be Rs. 5,500, instead of the proposed Rs. 12,000.

The rent for a single-seater room has been increased from Rs 20 per month to Rs 600 per month, while the rent for a double-seater room has been increased from Rs 10 to Rs 300 per month for non BPL students and those BPL students, who are availing fellowships and scholarships.

However, for BPL students, the rent for a double-seater room will be Rs 150 per month and for a single-seater room, it will be Rs 300 per month.

The administration also made an appeal to all JNU students to get back to their classes, lab works, and research activities as major concessions have been given to students belonging to BPL category and removed the clauses related to dress and hostel timings from the hostel manual.

"Resuming academic work will protect the careers of thousands of students from any further harm," the varsity official said.

Explaining the change in the venue for the EC meeting, the university registrar said in a statement that the meeting was to be held at the Convention Centre but some students and JNU Teachers' Association office-bearers prevented the EC members from entering the building.

"Some of the EC members, who were already inside the Convention Centre, were not allowed to come out. A crowd of students subsequently gheraoed three EC members who also happen to be the deans of different schools," he said.

The registrar said the details about the new venue was shared with all EC members, contrary to claims made earlier in the day, and most of them reached the venue.

He clarified that the JNU administration had received "several suggestions" from students when the draft manual was posted on JNU website for feedback.

The students' protest had gradually intensified against the manual, in which service charges of Rs 1,700 were introduced and the one-time mess security fee, which is refundable, had been hiked from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000.

On Monday, Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' had met students in the midst of blockade of the building by their colleagues where the minister had come to grace the third JNU Convocation.

Nishak had received a memorandum from the students and requested the JNU administration to look into the demands, the registrar said.

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