Upset about the “commercial intent” of a few recent decisions taken by the administration, students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) observed a complete varsity strike on Tuesday.
More than 500 students, who also participated in a massive protest march on the campus, are against the implementation of decisions such as installation of individual electricity meters at the new hostel Koyena and the increase in the price of the varsity prospectus from Rs 120 to Rs 200. Such moves, the students alleged, reeked of “commercialisation”.
“The installation of electricity meters indicate that those in charge want to keep tabs on electricity consumption and charge us in future. We also want the administration to revoke the decision to increase the price of the prospectus as poor students will not be able to afford it,” said Sandeep Singh, president JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU).
The administration’s stance is quite different. It said these issues just need some clarification. “Firstly, there is no decision to charge students for electricity. Secondly, the price of prospectus has been raised after more than five years and this has only been done to offset the rising cost of our entrance examination,” said Vinod Jain, dean, students’ welfare.
Talks did not help. The students have decided to continue with the strike on Wednesday. “We want the varsity to revoke these decisions. We will not call off the strike unless our demands are met,” said Mobeen Alam, JNUSU general secretary.