On Thursday, the JNU explained its rationale behind the fee hike saying that the university is facing a deficit of Rs 45 crore and fee hike is necessary because of the huge electricity, water charges and the salary of contractual staff.
In a statement, the Jawaharlal Nehru University said it has a deficit of more than Rs 45 crore and there is a “misinformation” campaign being run in the name of hostel fee hike.
“There is a misinformation campaign which says that there is a massive hostel fee hike. In reality, service charges are being levied, which have been zero so far. For sustainability of budget which has run into a huge deficit, it’s necessary to levy service charges in the hostel,” JNU administration clarified in a tweet.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU): The university is having a deficit of more than Rs 45 crores . It is largely because of the huge electricity and water charges and the salary of contractual staff.
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2019
Reportedly, the UGC rules do not allow the university to pay the salaries of contractual employees of hostels from the salary head of the budget. The number of such employees is over 450. Thus, there is no alternative for the university than to collect service charges from the students, the university said.
The updated hostel charges for each general student is approximately Rs 4,500 per month. Out of this, Rs 2,300 is charged every month for food charges. Of the remaining amount of Rs 2,200, BPL category students have to pay only 50 per cent. A BPL category student has to pay approximately Rs 3,400 per month, the university said.
Refuting the media reports, the JNU administration stated that there is also propaganda that a large number of poor students will be adversely affected by the revised hostel charges.
“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 statement said.
The university also dismissed reports that the revised hostel charges in JNU are more than similar charges in other Central Universities. The varsity added, “It needs to be underlined that JNU does not charge developmental fees, unlike other universities. Moreover, the admission fee in JNU has been minimal for decades and no revision has taken place for more than four decades”.
Defending the fee hike, the JNU administration said the Central University of Hyderabad charges an admission fee of Rs 10,000 per annum whereas JNU charges around Rs 300 per annum.
Meanwhile, the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has also released a list of pending mess dues from hostel residents, which alone amounts to nearly Rs 2.79 crore.
The details of pending dues from hostel residents were released on November 20 by the assistant registrar of Inter-Hall Administration. According to the details issued, mess dues from July to October from 17 hostels stand at Rs 2,79,33,874.
Over 44 lakh is pending from the month of July, while dues of August is at Rs 55 lakh. The mess dues pending from September and October amount to Rs 73,71,808 and Rs 1,13,95,634 respectively.