Protests in JNU continue even though the administration decided to partially roll back the hostel fee hike only for students below the poverty line category and removed the provisions for the curfew timing and also the dress code
JNU wall of shame, shut down JNU, Left Killing JNU are some of the trends one has been seeing on social media for quite some time. The Jawaharlal Nehru University is back in the news and yet again for all the wrong reasons.
While this time the ongoing protest is largely over the proposed fee hike provision in the Draft Hostel Manual, back in 2016 it was about Azfal Guru. The students have also been protesting the new rules pertaining to the deadline to return to the hostels and also the dress code.
The protests continue even though the administration decided to partially roll back the hostel fee hike only for students below the poverty line category and removed the provisions for the curfew timing and also the dress code.
Where the rich ride on the backs of the poor:
Mohandas Pai the chairman of Aarin Capital Partners who was formerly the CFO and head of HR at Infosys tells MyNation that JNU is sensitive area dominated by the extreme Left and where all political parties are fighting.
I feel that the administration made a mistake by asking existing students to pay more. The rule should have been made applicable for the new students. They should have said that people below a certain level will get concessions.
Now what we get to see is the rich riding on the backs of the poor. Those protesting are making it appear as though everyone is poor, and this is not correct, says Mohandas Pai. This is why I say that change management is important and needed.
Today the Leftists have got a new cause and make the students march. The Left basically is down and were left with no cause and now have held on to this issue, says Pai.
Basically, the people who can afford it have to pay and those who cannot need to be supported. Every young person should be enabled for education and those in the higher income groups need to pay for it, says Pai.
What is happening now is that these people will show 10 sob stories and make it into a big issue. This is why I say when changes are made in institutions, one needs to be careful.
Mohandas Pai while speaking about some students who have stayed on at the JNU for years together says that the rules must be very clear. Whether you pass or fail, you must go and there is no need to support those who sit at the JNU for years together. This is an elitist institution and those going there are said to be highly merited.
“Even those doing their PhD must be given a grace period of six months and then asked to leave. There is a large subsidy which is paid by the taxpayer, both rich and poor. Why should this be misused by a few?” asks Pai.
They claim to be fighting on the values of Dr BR Ambedkar. He is the greatest scholar and fought the battle of ideas. He worked hard towards his achievements and one must follow him in the right spirit. The basic thing is that when you use the facilities, you should perform and do well, Pai exclaims.
How does JNU fare comparatively?
It was decided to hike the hostel fee for a shared room from Rs 10 to Rs 300. For a single room it was Rs 600 from Rs 20. In addition to this a service charge of Rs 1,700 a month was also proposed. The Delhi University and Ambedkar University charges around Rs 3,000 for the same facilities.
In this context one must look at the estimates of teaching costs given by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). The NAAC put the recurring cost per student at Rs 5.8 lakh for the years 2016-17. It stood at Rs 1.7 lakh per student if the salaries of the staff and teachers was not included.
At the Ambedkar University where students paid 13% of the costs, the amount stood at Rs 1.75 lakh per student. At the JNU what is charged is 1% on an average.
Rent at Rs 20 a month for a single room would mean that an average of Rs 75 paise a day is being paid. The double room is at Rs 10 per month and this would cover the room, electricity, water, maintenance etc. Further, a person at the JNU pays an annual fee of Rs 50 for newspapers.
If one takes into account the revised charges, JNU students would pay Rs 3,600 per annum and for those students from below poverty line the amount is Rs 1,800. The IITs in Bombay and Delhi charge Rs 20,000 and Rs 15,000 per annum respectively. The National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar charges Rs 12,000 per year for double rooms and Rs 18,000 for single occupancy. The IIM Indore charges Rs 25,000 for a triple occupancy for undergraduate students. For post graduate students, it is Rs 75,000 for single occupancy. Looking at what all these top institutes charge, it is still several times higher than what the JNU has proposed.
The illegal acts:
The debates on the activities at the JNU are never ending. Back in 1996, Badal Ghana Chakravorty, associate professor, Department of German had written to the registrar of the JNU. Rampant anti-national activities of the agents of Pakistan on JNU campus, the subject of the letter read.
He went on to write that the agents of Pakistan have become vigorously assertive on the issue of Kashmir in recent times. He also cited a seminar where a full-throated declaration was made for another partition of India.
This letter is part of a dossier that was put together by a group of teachers from the JNU and submitted to the administration in 2015. The letter also state, “I am writing these lines more in anguish than in anger. JNU financed by the national exchequer is massively misused with total impunity, as a springboard to launch a heinous sabotage for another partition of India”.
The dossier also speaks about an Indo-Pak Mushaira that was organised in 2000. While it was said that this was a poetic event, it was actually to belittle India’s victory in Kargil.
Further the dossier also cites paper in which it was said that 300 Kashmiri and north-east activists were living illegally in the hostels. They are the main focus behind organising anti India activities. The dossier not only speaks of the activities of the students, but also of some teachers as well.
The dossier also speaks about the arrest of a student, Shahbuddin Ghori. He was arrested in connection with a hawala case that involved, Ashfaq Lone, who was the deputy chief of intelligence of the Hizbul Mujahideen.
It may be recalled that in 2010 the JNU Forum Against War on People celebrated the killing of 76 CRPF jawans by the Naxalites at Dantewada. The co-host of this programme was All India Students’ Association, which is affiliated to the CPI(ML). Further it must also be noted that there is a commemoration for Afzal Guru every year at the JNU. Afzal Guru was hanged to death after the Supreme Court found him guilty in the Parliament attack.
The proposed changes:
The draft hostel manual said that the residents should be back in their respective hostels latest by 11 pm or by half an hour after time for library closing, whichever is later. Students found to be outside their respective hostel premises after the stipulated time and involving in violence or otherwise disturbing peace on campus and privacy of JNU community will be evicted from the hostel forthwith apart from any other disciplinary action by the University.
All residents and guests should come to the dining hall appropriately dressed. However, this was done away with.
The rent for a single seater room has been increased from Rs 20 to Rs 600 per month. The rent for a double seater room has been increased from Rs 10 to Rs 300 a month.
Service charge of Rs 1,700 has been introduced and the one-time refundable mess security fee has been increased from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000.
Last Updated 1:22 PM IST