JNU hostel fee hike: Students submit list of demands to MHRD
New Delhi: On Friday, the 32nd day of their strike, students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) met officials from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and submitted a list of demands including extension of the winter semester and withdrawal of inquires against students, among other things.
Around 200 students had reached MHRD to protest against the hostel fee hike issue on Friday amid heavy police presence. Members from the JNU students’ union (JNUSU) met delegates from the ministry and said they were assured of a meeting with Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal within a week. Officials from the ministry did not respond to queries for confirmation of the same.
JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh said, “We have asked the MHRD to send in a recommendation to the varsity for an extension of the winter semester as the varsity administration is sending us threatening mails, asking us to get back to our classes before exams.”
Earlier in the day, JNU registrar Pramod Kumar said in a circular, “All faculty members are requested to conduct their lectures and other academic activities. It is important to ensure students fulfill all their academic requirements to be eligible to write the end-semester exams, which are scheduled to start on December 12.”
Ghosh said, “We have been assured of a meeting with the HRD minister by Monday. Unless there is a complete rollback of the hostel manual, we will not call off our strike. We have told the secretary and joint secretary of MHRD that we also demand suspension of the vice chancellor since he is responsible for the chaos in the university.”
JNU students have been protesting against a substantial hostel fee hike for over a month. In wake of the protests, the varsity had announced concessions but the students did not let up, and have demanded a complete rollback. Last week, a three-member MHRD-appointed committee had submitted its report on the matter after consultations with teachers, students, and deans of the university.
“We demand that the contents of this report be made public and be shared with the students’ union members,” said Saket Moon, JNUSU vice president. “We were, however, told that the report is with the HRD minister and presidential sanction is required to make the report public.”
Earlier in the day, the JNU administration cleared the administrative block where students have been protesting since over a month. Condemning the move, students said they would occupy the space again and their protests would continue till the hike was recalled completely.