NEW DELHI — The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration on Wednesday has revoked the order on the proposed hostel fees hike under pressure from the agitating students describing it as a “major rollback”.
“JNU Executive Committee announces major rollback in the hostel fee and other stipulations. Also proposes a scheme for economic assistance to the EWS students. Time to get back to classes,” R Subrahmanyam education secretary of Indian government wrote in a tweet amid continuing protest by the students at the university campus.
The university students held massive protest demonstrations for over two weeks pressing on the administration to roll back the order revising the hostel fee
Wednesday morning hundreds of students gathered on the pavement outside the administration department building demanding revocation fee hike order by university administration.
They also demanded the revocation of revised rules in the hostel manual released on university website three weeks back.
There are certain “draconian provisions” in the revised manual which includes an appropriate dress code that has to be followed. Students say that this term appropriate makes the new manual vague and it will be misused. “Is wearing khadi appropriate? Is wearing half sleeves appropriate?” Shubham Panday, a student who is secretary of his hostel, asked.
Through revised manual, according to protesting students, the administration is planning to set up a curfew-like time and students cannot stay out after 11 PM. “It a secure campus, there is no need for imposing a curfew on students,” Panday said.
He accused the administration of unilaterally updating the manual without consulting the students.
Some students who come from financially backward families and marginalised communities say that the fee hike will become a barricade in their pursuit of education. They say the reservation has benefited them a lot.
“I have reached this level of education in this university as it is affordable”, said Farooq Alam, a Ph.D. student of the Arabic language at varsity.
Alam comes from Katihar district of Bihar state in northern India. His family back home can’t afford to meet his educational expenses. He has recently secured a fellowship which will help him become financially independent.
He says if the education is made expensive, the dreams of students like him will never become a reality.
With the roll back of the fee hike order, the government, according to media reports, is also planning to bring in a scheme that will provide financial support to the students from economically weaker sections.