The students of Jawaharlal Lal Nehru University have been protesting against the revision of the hostel fee for over three weeks now. And all this began after the University administration hiked the hostel charges for each general student to approximately Rs. 4,500 per month, which includes Rs. 2,300 for food per month.
Amid widespread protests, JNU on Thursday justified that the reason behind the fee hike is the shortage of more than Rs. 45 crore due to huge electricity and water charges and the salary of contractual staff.
“The University has a deficit of more than Rs 45 crore because of huge electricity and water charges and salary of contractual staff,” said JNU.
JNU has said that due to cash churn, it’s is struggling to pay its 450 contractual employees. To note, the University Grants Commission (UGC), a govt. organization tasked to maintain the standard of education in India, doesn’t allow payment of contractual employees of hostels from the salary head of the budget.
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“In reality, service charges are being levied, which have been zero so far. For sustainability of the university budget which has run into a huge deficit, it is necessary to levy the service charges in the hostel,” the university said.
As of now, a revised charge for General student is Rs. 4,500 including Rs. 2,300 as food charges. However, the below poverty line (BPL) students have to pay only 50 per cent of the remaining amount of Rs 2,200.
This means a BPL category student will have to pay Rs. 3,400 per month as hostel fees.
Meanwhile, protesting students’ claims that the fee hike will add to the burden to poor students and their families.
To note, the university had earlier hiked the double room rent from Rs 10 to Rs 300 per month, single room from Rs 20 to Rs 600 per month and increased one-time refundable mess security deposit from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000.
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Again BPL category students get a 50% concession on all these charges.