The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has asked students to clear their mess and hostel dues as a precondition to registering for the next semester. The JNU Students Union, as well as presidents of all 18 hostels on campus, have termed the move “unjust” as most students had left hostel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a circular dated August 14, JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar said, “Students are required to pay all relevant dues such as tuition fees, hostel fees, and mess dues, etc.” It also said “hostel fee will be charged at the old rate” despite the fact that hostels are closed for students now.
The JNUSU held an emergency meeting with the hostel presidents on August 18 after which they wrote to the Dean of Students, saying “the charges are not logical”.
It also said there were “huge discrepancies” in mess bills. “The residents who remain on campus have not been provided breakfast since the lockdown commenced, yet the mess bill exceeds what could be presumed reasonable… Even though the mess bills have been clearly inflated artificially, the mess secretaries have not been given the opportunity to examine the mess bill for discrepancies…,” they wrote, demanding the withdrawal of mess dues.
JNUSU has called for postponing registration process “till all existing issues faced by students are resolved.”
Registrar Pramod Kumar and Dean of Students Sudheer Pratap Singh did not respond to calls and texts.