JNU takes back ‘medical fee’ charge from new hostel rule, students to boycott registration for a day

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Published on Dec 31, 2019 08:41 PM IST
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The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration on Tuesday issued a corrigendum taking back a Rs 500 per semester charge that it had levied a day earlier as ‘medical fee’ in its new hostel manual.

The move comes after members of both JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) and teachers’ association criticised the University administration’s decision of implementing the revised hostel fee structure from the upcoming semester.

The administration on Monday had announced its decision to implement the revised hostel fee from January 1, 2020. They had also included the new ‘medical fee’ component in that. However, in a corrigendum issued by the university on Tuesday, students were told, “It is to inform that medical fee mentioned may be treated as deleted from the said circular (dated 30.12.2019).”

The rent for a single room will now be Rs 600 per month and Rs 300 per month for a double-sharing room. The charges are half for below poverty line (BPL) students. However, BPL students having Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) or equivalent will not get any concessions.

The JNUSU, meanwhile, on Tuesday announced the boycott of the registration for the next semester for a day to mark their protest against the implementation of the revised hostel fee. The JNUSU, along with the presidents of all university hostels, have decided to lockdown their respective mess managers’ and cashiers’ offices on Wednesday.

The JNUSU in a statement said, “One day registration boycott will be reviewed in hostels’ general body meetings on Wednesday night and further decision will be taken based on that.”

Despite several attempts, JNU registrar Pramod Kumar and rector Chintamani Mahapatra did not respond to calls and texts for a comment on the deletion of the medical fee component.

The administration had on Monday also announced that students who could not complete their academic requirements for the ongoing semester, due to the agitation, will be registered provisionally in the next semester. All provisionally admitted students were asked to complete their pending academic activities by January 20, 2020.

Since October 28, the university has been reeling under a students’ strike against a hike in the hostel fees. As part of the protests, the students had boycotted the semester exams and blocked the gates of schools and centers. Taking account of the blockade, the JNU administration had even decided to conduct exams through emails or WhatsApp.

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