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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

JNU protests: Centre forms committee to look into impasse over fee hike

Education secretary R Subrahmanyam on Monday announced the appointment of a three-member committee.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2019 15:48 IST
Kainat Sarfaraz
Kainat Sarfaraz
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Students hold placards and raise slogans to protest against the administration’s move to hike the hostel fee, at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), in New Delhi, India, on Friday, November 15, 2019.
Students hold placards and raise slogans to protest against the administration’s move to hike the hostel fee, at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), in New Delhi, India, on Friday, November 15, 2019. (Photo: Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times)
         

Following weeks of protest by students of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) over the proposed fee hike, the Centre has ordered the formation of a committee to resolve the deadlock between students and administration, senior officials said on Monday.

Education secretary R Subrahmanyam on Monday announced the appointment of a three-member committee.

“With a view to restore normal functioning of JNU, through dialogue with all stakeholders and to advise the university administration for resolution of contentious issues, the government has appointed a high-powered committee,” the order of the ministry of human resource and development, which was issued on November 17, said.

The three members are former chairperson of University Grants Commission (UGC) VS Chauhan, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe, and UGC secretary Rajnish Jain.

The order surfaced on a day when students are preparing to march to Parliament to raise their demands of rolling back the fee hike. The march comes on the first day of the Parliament’s Winter Session, which will end on December 13.

Heavy police deployment was made outside the university’s campus on Monday, ahead of the students’ protest march to Parliament, news agency PTI reported. Officials said 10 companies, with 70 to 80 personnel in each, have been posted outside JNU, it said.

The JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) said police were deployed outside the university to stop students from marching to Parliament.

“The massive police deployment and barricading at the gates of the JNU campus, which on the face of it appears to be only for the purpose of preventing the students from taking out their planned march to Parliament,” the association said.

On Sunday, vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, in a video message released on the university’s official website, said parents of students from across the country are contacting him to express concerns about the loss of academics activities due to the ongoing students’ protests.

JNU students have been protesting against the new hostel manual over fee hike, curfew timings, and implementation of dress code since last month.

While the administration removed the clauses on curfew timing and dress code, it introduced a 50% fee concession for students belonging to families from Below Poverty Line.

The students’ union rejected the changes saying the hike would still impact students adversely.