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Wednesday 29 January 2020

HRD committee to JNU students: Continue freeloading

The HRD committee has recommended a 75% relief in utility and service charge to BPL students and 50% relief to the remaining JNU pupils

Amid Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ continued protest against the fee hike implemented since March, the high-level committee of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has submitted its report to the Ministry, offering a big relief to the students at taxpayers’ expense.

The HRD committee has recommended a 75% relief in utility and service charge to the students of BPL (below poverty line) category and 50% to the remaining students.

This is the second rollback by the government after the 13 November announcement of a partial rollback.

The HRD committee has recommended single accommodation room rent for BPL students to be Rs 300 per month and double accommodation room rent of Rs 150 per month, with the service charge Rs 500 per month.

Last week, students of JNU who were protesting against the fee hike ended the picketing after getting an assurance of the Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’. After this, a delegation of students met the minister. The minister assured them the fee hike would be withdrawn.

The education secretary announced a partial withdrawal of the fee hike to address the students’ concerns and also announced the formation of a committee on Monday to talk to the students but the students were not satisfied. They kept demanding a withdrawal of the fee hike altogether and continued with their demonstrations till late in the evening.

The students were told that only after ending the picket, their representatives would be allowed to meet the minister. After receiving the assurance of the minister, the flock of students returned to the JNU campus.

HRD committee levying this cost on you

A JNU student before the fee hike was paying Rs 20 a month, or less than 75 paise per day, for a single-occupancy room. For two students per room, they were paying Rs 10 a month. Electricity, water, maintenance, cleanliness and other services were free for them. They paid Rs 50 a year for newspapers, or Rs 4.19 paise a month or 14 paise per day for broadsheets that cost Rs 6 a copy on an average.

The remaining cost is paid by the taxpayers, which totals Rs 6.95 lakh per student every year.

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