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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

JNU’s top decision-making body to take call on new hostel rules today

The new hostel manual proposes sweeping changes to existing rules and has been a point of contention between students and varsity administration for the past two weeks.

education Updated: Nov 13, 2019 09:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Police personnel stand guard at the entry gate of JNU in view of security precautions after yesterday's protest in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
Delhi Police personnel stand guard at the entry gate of JNU in view of security precautions after yesterday's protest in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, November 12, 2019. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
         

The students and administration of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are inching towards another stand-off on Wednesday, when the varsity’s Executive Council (EC)— a top decision-making body — meets to discuss and pass the new hostel manual.

The new hostel manual proposes sweeping changes to existing rules and has been a point of contention between students and varsity administration for the past two weeks.

The university’s hostel committee had already approved the manual during a meeting on October 28, without consulting representatives of the students’ union. The varsity’s students body — Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) — has organised several protests on campus and demanded a rollback since.

Thousands of students on Monday had held a day-long protest during the third convocation ceremony of JNU, demanding withdrawal of the manual.

Union human resource development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, who was the guest of honour at the event, vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and other dignitaries were stranded at the convocation venue for nearly seven hours as students refused to let them leave.

Minor clashes took place between the students and the police during the protest, during which the police ‘used’ water canons on the protesters.

The JNUSU on Tuesday announced it would hold a protest outside the EC meeting and observe a university strike. JNUSU general secretary Satish Yadav said, “We will again try to meet the vice-chancellor on Wednesday. We will also hand over a memorandum to EC members, requesting them to oppose the draft hostel manual during the meeting.”

The new hostel manual says students will have to pay a service charge of Rs 1,700 per month. This charge did not exist earlier. The rent for a single-seater room has been increased from Rs 20 per month to Rs 600 per month, and for a double-sharing room from Rs 10 per month to Rs 300 per month. The mess security fee, which is refundable, has been revised from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000.

Besides the fee hike, the hostel manual mentions several rules such as hostel residents not being allowed in another person’s room after 10:30pm, mandatory permission from wardens for nightouts, prohibition of cooking in hostel rooms and a fine of Rs 10,000 for breaching hostel norms.

Despite several attempts JNU vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, registrar Pramod Kumar and rector Chintamani Mahapatra did not respond to calls and texts for a comment on Tuesday.

An EC member, requesting anonymity, said, “The University administration has not mentioned the hostel manual in the agenda for the meeting. However, we the administration can introduce it on the spot.”