After nearly three months of strike and boycott of academic activities, JNUSU released a statement Saturday night. It gave a call for paying the semester tuition fee but not the hiked room rent. The tuition fee is Rs. 108 for undergraduate and post-graduate students while Rs. 120 for PhD students. The students have been asked to pay the fee online on the JNU Cashless portal. Registration deadline has been further extended to 15.01.2020.
However, JNUSU emphasized that the ‘illegal’ IHA manual will not be accepted by the students at any cost. “We will not pay a penny more!”, reads the statement. The Union shall pressurize the administration to ensure registration at the old fee. The administration has blocked the registration of over 300 students over non-payment of fines and pending inquiries. JNUSU has asked all such students to contact the office-bearers and School Councillors with a screenshot of the same. The protests for sacking of the V-C will also continue after registering at the old hostel rates.
However, hostel caretakers have refused to give clearance to payments made as per the old hostel fee. As per the new fee structure, the room rent is increased to Rs. 3,600 per semester for single-seater and Rs. 1,800 per semester for double-seater. There is a 50% concession for all BPL students. Apart from this, every student is liable to pay Rs. 1,100 per semester as Establishment charges.
This statement was met by mixed response and it also sparked a lot of confusion among students. A lot of students were not in favour because the demand was for a complete roll-back and that has not been fulfilled. It was also not clear as to how JNUSU could take such a call without discussing it with SFC (Student Faculty Committee) representatives in a GBM.
On Sunday morning, JNUSU held a meeting with SFCs, after which it released several clarifications. This is a call for registration at old rates and not acceptance of the new fee structure. The demands are to allow all academically suspended students to be allowed to register and their access to the portal should not be blocked. There should be a buffer period provided for examinations. On Sunday evening, following opposition by several SFCs, JNUSU put it on hold and asked students not to generate folios even if they have paid the fee as per the earlier instruction.
It must be noted that a large portion of the student body is disappointed with the functioning of the Union and fed up of the long deadlock. More than 3800 students have already registered, according to Registrar Pramod Kumar.