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JNU hostel fee set to double, protests on

On Monday, the university said it would take “severe action” against “some JNU students” for allegedly not allowing Dean of Students Umesh Kadam from leaving the IHA meeting venue, despite ill health. The JNUSU claimed he “faked” the health issues.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: October 30, 2019 8:21:03 am
At a protest at JNU on Tuesday. (Express photo: Abhinav Saha)

Jawaharlal Nehru University will likely at least double its hostel fee after the administration passed the draft Inter-Hall Administration (IHA) manual in a meeting Tuesday. The meeting was adjourned following a showdown between the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) and the administration, but was reconvened and all agenda items on it passed, The Indian Express has learnt.

On Monday, the university had said it would take “severe action” against “some JNU students” for allegedly not allowing Dean of Students (DoS) Umesh Kadam from leaving the IHA meeting venue, where the students were protesting, despite ill health. The JNUSU claimed he “faked” the health issues.

JNUSU was protesting not being given representation at the meeting and against the IHA draft, which they said “seeks to implement a massive fee hike in JNU hostels, along with regressive provisions such as curfew time, hefty fines and punishments for protests, and a complete disappearance of reservation policies in hostel allotment”.

Continuing the protest Tuesday, JNUSU called for a university strike and double-locked the DoS office. Not too long ago, the DoS had threatened to lock the JNUSU office, claiming the union was not officially notified, and the office could be “misused”.

JNUSU vice-president Saket Moon said the administration reconvened at 3 pm Monday, for which hostel presidents were invited 10 minutes earlier. “When they reached slightly late, they were just told to sign attendance sheets and told all agenda items had been passed. We now pay around Rs 2,000 per month as hostel fee. We’ve heard they are planning to levy service charges of Rs 1,700, and around Rs 300 as rent, making it at least Rs 4,000,” he said.

Kadam confirmed to The Indian Express that the fee hike was passed, but did not specify by how much. “Every agenda item was passed,” he said. On why the fee was hiked, he said, “Because it hasn’t been hiked in 19 years.” He added the administration would take “strict action”against those who locked his office.

JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh said, “When we went to the (DoS) office around 12 pm, it was locked. Students felt we should also lock it, as the admin threatened to lock our office.”

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