Are JNU students justified in protesting a significant but long overdue tuition hike?

Illustration by Soham Sen | Printing team

Text size:

Hundreds of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi protested a 300% increase in monthly accommodation fees on Monday outside the All India Council for Technical Education, the location of their graduation ceremony attended by the vice -President Venkaiah Naidu. Students have been on strike since October 28 to demand that the hostel manual revisions be withdrawn.

ThePrint asks: Are JNU students right to protest a large but long overdue tuition hike?

We are fighting for affordable education for everyone, not just JNU students

Oumar Khalid
Activist and former JNU student

JNU students fight for their fundamental rights, the right to education. It is not a privilege, but a right to which all citizens of this country are entitled.

However, people are now making so much noise about JNU’s low cost pricing structure. The point is that JNU and the IITs were created around the same time. However, only the latter’s fee increased over time, unlike JNU’s fee. The JNU student movement has always resisted the privatization of education, keeping the principle of affordable education alive.

JNU has students from extremely economically disadvantaged groups. If JNU had not been there, pursuing higher education would have become impossible for them. In many university institutes the cost of education is very high and monthly accommodation costs a lot of money. No university should charge exorbitant tuition and accommodation fees. The government should subsidize education just as the governments of many Western European countries do. We are basically fighting for everyone, not just the students of JNU.

The government has enough money, so it’s a matter of setting the right priorities. Budget allocations for education have declined every year since 2014. The BJP government spends thousands of crore just on advertising and has even written off huge amounts of corporate debt. The people of India want their money, that they give us government taxes, to be spent on providing education for all.

The Modi government wants to destroy public universities so that private universities funded by private actors like the Jio Institute can take over from the education sector. Such universities only make education accessible to the privileged.

Bogus socialism combined with a sad sense of entitlement does not constitute a legitimate basis for protest

Makarand R. Paranjape
Director, IIAS and professor at JNU

JNU students are not justified in organizing these demonstrations. There are other topics on which students might express their dissatisfaction with the current administration of the JNU, such as the newly proposed imposition of curfews, visit restrictions for female students in hostels. for men, dress codes in dining rooms, etc. But not the fee increases.

How to justify the meager rent of Rs 10 for a room in the heart of southwest Delhi, charges included? Not to mention that the guests crowd together, sometimes ten per room. Boarding fees are also ridiculously low, subsidized at around Rs 1600-1700 per month. The current tuition fees are also ridiculously low, less than Rs 500 per year, for all disciplines except the newly opened engineering and management schools.

Some of these same student protesters paid tuition fees of Rs 4,000-5,000,000 per month. Most students, especially those pursuing masters / doctorate studies, are granted scholarships, the JRF reaches up to Rs 35,000 per month and even rent allowance, if they are not provided with accommodation. in focus.

The argument that some students are too poor to pay the increased fees is counterfactual, even malicious. Every student enrolled at JNU is almost sure to get a loan if they can’t afford the fees.

On the heckling over rising fees, the students are clearly wrong. Bogus socialism combined with a sad sense of entitlement does not constitute a legitimate basis for protest.

Opinions are personal.

Read also : JNU Student Union office receives expulsion notice – after no official recognition for 2 years

You can clearly see what’s going on in JNU, and in JNU

File image of Gurmehar Kaur |  TwitterGurmehar Kaur
Author and student activist

JNU students all have the right to protest the fee hike and they should. Jawaharlal Nehru University is one of the most prestigious institutions in India which has produced pillars in various fields. It is one of the most inclusive spaces that has enabled many students from all parts of India to access higher education.

JNU is, in fact, one of the last higher education institutions which in recent years has not succumbed to government pressure. You can clearly see what is going on in JNU, and towards JNU. He provided the atmosphere for free thinkers to thrive. But it is people like these who become the target of the government from time to time.

Student movements led by former JNU leaders have resulted in the production of stories that shape contemporary India. They acted as the opposition to the ruling party, something that ceased to exist for a very long time.

The protests by JNU students are not only aimed at fighting for equal education, but also at saving the last intellectual stronghold of the new India. And this must be fully taken care of.

As a DU student, I am alongside the JNU students. The exponential rise in fees is totally unacceptable

Ashish lamba
Secretary DUSU

As a student at the University of Delhi, I am alongside the students of JNU. The fees have been increased exponentially. We would have understood the point of view of the JNU administration if there had been only a slight increase in hostel fees.

In DU, we have a policy of increasing fees by 2-3 percent each year based on UGC guidelines, but JNU does not have such a provision. The fees have been increased by 300 percent. It is totally unacceptable. I am shocked that the JNU administration did not consult with the JNU student union or put the fee hike proposal on the table before making the final revisions.

I’m not saying the increased fees are the problem. The problem, however, is that the increased fees place a burden on students. Mainly because students from all over India come to study at JNU and not everyone is from the same economic background.

As a union member at DU, our major problem is that of a course for a fee. I try to bring a sense of uniformity to the colleges in Delhi. If that doesn’t materialize, you could see similar protests from DU students.

JNU students want to stick to ideological values ​​and 90s room rates, which is untenable

Swadesh Singh
Assistant Professor, University of Delhi

When I started studying at JNU in 2001 the accommodation costs were around Rs 108 for 6 months. JNU has changed in many ways since then. At that time, the MCM scholarship for students was Rs 600, which is now Rs 2,000. Back then, university researchers did not get non-NET scholarships, but now they do. The number and amount of UGC and CSIR scholarships have also increased since. Previously there was no Rajiv Gandhi scholarship for SC and OBC students. Today, around 300 JNU researchers receive this grant.

The protesting students should have negotiated with the JNU administration. They could have asked for a fee reduction for everyone and a total fee waiver for AMPs, SCs, STs and people with disabilities.

But JNU students don’t want to move forward. They want to stick to ideological values ​​and 90s room rates, which is untenable.

In the category of social science research institutes, JNU obtains maximum grants per student from UGC and assistance from different ministries for hostels and research facilities. The quality of bedrooms, toilets, reading rooms, gym and television rooms must be maintained and students must share the costs of maintenance and renovation.

JNU cannot continue to be an island disconnected from reality. It cannot continue to singularly consume resources that could be used to support other universities and equally deserving students in other parts of the country.

Read also : JNU youth hostel fee hike will drive out students, protesters say after taking to the streets

By Taran Deol, reporter at ThePrint

Subscribe to our channels on Youtube & Telegram

Why the news media is in crisis and how to fix it

India is all the more in need of free, fair, uninhibited and questioning journalism as it is facing multiple crises.

But the news media are in a crisis of their own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, giving in to crass spectacle in prime time.

ThePrint employs the best young reporters, columnists and editors. To maintain journalism of this quality, it takes smart, thoughtful people like you to pay the price. Whether you live in India or abroad, you can do it here.

Support our journalism

Previous “Other than honorable? "Veterans with" bad papers "seek long-awaited benefits
Next Late climbers rescued near Glenorchy