New Delhi: The JNU hostel fee hike issue, which has triggered protests since October, may be headed for resolution with Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar agreeing to a formula proposed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
According to the formula, the university should just increase the room rent and let the University Grants Commission (UGC) bear the Rs 1,000 service and utility charge.
“We have decided that students will not have to pay the service and utility charges for the winter semester. They will only pay the increased room rent,” Kumar told the media.
The fee hike was to kick in with the winter semester.
“The last date of registration for the semester has already been extended for the students who want to register and it will be extended further,” he added.
Calls for V-C’s resignation
The formula in question was first suggested to the V-C in December, when R. Subrahmanyam was secretary. He did not agree to it at the time and Subrahmanyam was transferred to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment while discussions were underway between ministry and university officials.
The V-C’s acceptance comes amid growing pressure for Kumar’s removal following last week’s JNU attack and his refusal to agree to the government-proposed formula to quell the protests.
In October, JNU proposed to hike the room rent from Rs 10 and Rs 20 per month to Rs 300 and Rs 600, respectively, and added an additional service and utility charge of Rs 1,700.
Following protests, the service charge was brought down to Rs 1,000 but the room rent hike stayed in place. This service charge will now be borne by the UGC. Senior officials in the UGC told ThePrint that the university had approached them Thursday with a request for Rs 20 crore towards the service and utility charge.
According to the officials, JNU had approached them for additional funds last month as well and the money was released to the university.
Speaking to the media Friday, the V-C also said the university was trying to increase security for students on campus, especially women.