JNU clarifies its stand on imposing hike in hostel fees

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JNU clarifies its stand on imposing hike in hostel fees
JNU clarifies its stand on imposing hike in hostel fees

New Delhi : Defending their move to increase hostel fees, the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has said that the university is having a deficit of more than 45 crore mainly due to electricity consumption, water charges and the fees of the contractual staff.

"The JNU has a deficit of more than Rs 45 crore and it is largely because of huge electricity and water charges and the salary of contractual staff. The UGC no longer allows payments of salaries of contractual employees of the hostel from the salary head of the budget. The number of such employees in the hostels is over 450. 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. Thus, there is no alternative for the IHA than to collect service charges from the students," said the university administration while issuing a fact sheet on the hostel issue on Thursday night.

Thirteen members of JNUTA executive committee met the MHRD-appointed committee in Shastri Bhawan and submitted a memorandum, citing that there was no possibility of normalcy on campus till hike in hostel charges is withdrawn and the problems in the university cannot be resolved till the current vice chancellor is in office. The teachers’ body has also raised allegations of “financial mismanagement and wasteful expenditure.”

“There are 17 hostels in JNU and it is important to note that all of them have been running smoothly for decades now. There does not seem to be any urgent cause for the proposed steep fee hike and no explanation has been forthcoming from the JNU administration about the sudden financial crisis that has necessitated such a steep hike in hostel charges,” JNUTA wrote in its memorandum. The MHRD committee is also expected to visit the university campus on Friday to hold another round of dialogue with the students.

Meanwhile, students from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)’s JNU and Delhi University, and Jamia Millia Islamia unit held a protest march from Mandi House to Parliament on Thursday demanding complete roll back of the hostel fee hike in JNU.

“ABVP is against the ongoing series of fee hikes across several educational institutions and would request their respective administrations to refrain from such inexcusable conduct,” said Siddharth Yadav, secretary of ABVP Delhi.

Manish Jangid, secretary of ABVP in JNU, said, “While JNUSU has thrown in the towel, we continue to hold out. The manner in which the police authorities stymied our protest was undemocratic. We call for the HRD Minister to either unconditionally comply with our demands or resign forthwith.”