‘Call off Protest, Basic Demand Met’: HRD Ministry to JNU Students

Officials of the ministry has said that utility and service charges will be borne by the UGC.

2 min read
Protests at JNU over the hike in hostel fees. Image used for representation.

The HRD Ministry, on Friday 10 January, held a series of meetings on Friday with the JNU Vice Chancellor, the students union and the University Grants Commission (UGC) on the JNU fee hike issue and has appealed them to call of the agitation, saying that their basic demands have been agreed to by the University, a CNN News18 report said.

Officials of the ministry, according to the report, told JNU students union that they are not supposed to pay utility and service charges and the cost will be borne by the UGC, according to an earlier promise.  

The Ministry, however, did not say anything on the other demands put forth by the students including notification of the students’ union and dropping of proctorial enquiries. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal has also express distress over the involvement of JNU students in the 5 January violence, when masked goons entered the campus and attacked students and teachers.

The ministry had earlier met with a five-member team of JNU including Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, Registrar Pramod Kumar and three rectors.

“”All decisions are taken earlier at the HRD Ministry about hostel fee being implemented in totality. We have already written to UGC with estimated expenditures to release the funding. The deadline for registration will be extended if need be. The classes will resume from 13 January.”
M Jagadesh Kumar, Vice Chancellor, JNU

Later, the ministry also met four members of the students union. While that meeting was underway, the Delhi police announced the names of nine suspects involved in the 5 January violence, in which JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh was also named.

Aishe Ghosh was quoted as saying that the demand for the resignation of JNU’s VC still stands. She said that the union will meet counsellors and office bearer and take a call on whether to end the agitation or not.

JNUSU Vice President Saket Moon, on the other hand was quoted by the News18 report as saying that they have faith in the HRD Ministry but not in the Home Ministry which is ‘helicoptering’ the whole issue.

The HRD ministry later called for an urgent meet with UGC officials, after which an HRD secretary said that the issue and its modalities are being worked upon.

The ministry had proposed in December 2019 that the JNU administration will only charge the hiked hostel rent, while the service and utility charges will be bared by the UGC.

(With inputs from CNN News18.)

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