Breather for JNU students; service, utility charges reduced

New Delhi:  To pacify the agitating students of its varsity, the Jawaharlal Nehru University administration on Tuesday announced concession in service and utility charges. This will be the second time that the administration has decided to give a breather to the students in the proposed hostel fee hike.

However, unlike the concession announced earlier, this time the varsity has decided to extend the benefits of the discount to general students as well.

According to a statement released by the varsity administration, now students will get 50 percent discount in the service and utility charges to bring the monthly expenditure to Rs 1000 from Rs 2000, while a BPL category student will be further eligible for a 75 percent discount bringing down the charges for them to Rs 500 per month.

The move comes in after the High-Level Committee (HLC), set up by the JNU administration to discuss the revised Hostel Manual and hostel charges as approved by the Executive Council (EC) on November 13, 2019, submitted its report to the Competent Authority on Monday.

“The committee scrutinized the estimated utility and service charges in the hostel, which are Rs 2000/- per month (including electricity and water charges of Rs 300) and has recommended that Rs 1000 per month may be charged, in place of Rs 2000 per month, towards utility and service charges for all the students,” varsity administration said in a statement.

However, keeping in mind students’ argument that at least 40 percent of JNU students belonged to the weaker sections of society, the HLC recommended to extend extra benefits to the BPL category students and added in its report that the BPL category should be given a discount of 75 percent in the utility and service charges. This recommendation was also approved.

“The committee has also recommended 75 percent reduction in utility and service charges for all the eligible BPL students who would be charged Rs 500 in place of RS 2000 per month,” the varsity said.

In the statement, the University administration added that it was expecting the move will go down well with the students and normalcy would soon return to the campus.

“It is expected that 75 percent concession in utility and service charges to eligible BPL category students and 50 percent concession to the rest will go down well with the students’ community and stakeholders at large,” varsity added.

The revised rates will come into force from January 2020.

The JNU students have been protesting against the varsity administration’s move to hike hostel, mess and security fee, reportedly by 400 percent. It has also limited the hostel timings. While the JNU administration later announced a 50 percent concession for those belonging to the BPL (below the poverty line) category, the students rejected that terming it as an eyewash, and demanded a total rollback of the proposed hostel fee hike.

(IANS)

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