JNU fee hike: MHRD-appointed panel submits report

Students shout slogans as they march during a protest against a proposed fee hike in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). REUTERS

A panel appointed by the HRD Ministry to look into ways to restore normal functioning of the Jawaharlal Nehru University submitted its report on Tuesday and its recommendations are being studied, officials said.

The three-member committee, comprising former UGC chairman V S Chauhan, AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe and UGC secretary Rajnish Jain, was set up on November 18 to recommend ways to end the impasse between varsity administration and students over a hostel fee hike.

The students have been agitating against the hike for over four weeks.

"The three-member panel has submitted its report and the ministry is studying the recommendations," a senior official of the Ministry of Human Resource Development said.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had on Sunday set up an internal high-level committee for resolution of the ongoing conflict.

The seven-member committee had on Monday recommended that concession in utility and service charges be given to all university students and not only to those belonging to below poverty line (BPL) category.

The students' agitation over the hike in hostel fee escalated on November 11 when thousands of them clashed with police outside the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) premises, where the university's convocation was held.

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was stranded for over six hours at the venue.

The JNU's Executive Council had then announced a partial rollback of the hike for students belonging to the BPL category and not availing any scholarships. However, the protesters dubbed it as an "eyewash".

A week later, students staged a march from the JNU campus to the HRD Ministry but were stopped at multiple locations and finally outside the Safdarjung Tomb by police.

The protesters alleged that police personnel baton-charged and manhandled them, including a blind student, a charge which was denied by the force. 

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