New Delhi: An internal report of the Ministry of Human Resource Development has found that despite a partial roll-back, the hostel fee hike at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University will make it the most expensive of all central universities to live in and study at.
The report compared the hostel fees at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), University of Hyderabad (UoH), Delhi University (DU), Jamia Millia Islamia and Allahabad University.
In an analysis last month, ThePrint had also established that the JNU hostel fee would be the highest among central universities.
What the report states
In October, JNU had proposed to increase the hostel fee for a single room to Rs 600 per month from the existing Rs 20, and to Rs 300 per month from the existing Rs 10. It also announced a service and utility charge of Rs 1,700 per month.
Under this plan, the annual hostel fee at JNU would have gone up to Rs 63,700 from Rs 32,620, according to the HRD ministry report, a copy of which was accessed by ThePrint.
However, after unrelenting protests from students, the administration announced a partial roll-back, and reduced the service charge to Rs 1,000 per month. The report states that this will still make the hostel fee Rs 48,100 per annum, the highest at any central university.
The other universities considered by the report charge in the range of Rs 14,000-35,000 annually, along with the mess bill. Delhi University is the only exception — it charges Rs 47,800 per annum, along with the mess fee.
The report, which studies the fee under different heads like room rent, establishment charge, utility charge, service charge and mess charge, also states that JNU’s service charge of Rs 10,200 will be the highest of all. BHU and AMU don’t levy any service charge, while Jamia, Allahabad University and DU charge Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 7,650 respectively.
Meanwhile, the central government has not been able to resolve the stalemate between JNU students and the university, despite early intervention.
On 18 November, the ministry had formed a panel comprising former University Grants Commission chairperson V.S. Chauhan, UGC secretary Rajnish Jain and All India Council for Technical Education chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe to find a resolution to the issue.
The following week, the panel submitted its report to the ministry, suggesting ways in which the issue could be resolved. Sources in the ministry said the panel’s report — which has not been made public — suggested that students’ demands should be heard and the fee hike reconsidered.
However, no action has been taken on the committee’s report so far, and students have continued to protest against the administration. Some have even decided to boycott the examinations.
Higher Education Secretary R. Subrahmanyam also got transferred from the ministry in the middle of the whole row.
(The report has been updated to reflect that it’s DU that levies a service charge of Rs 7,650, and not UoH.)