For last week, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi has been under everyone’s radar. The university has hiked its hostel fee to ₹3600 annually, ₹1800 in case of below poverty line (BPL) students and thereafter a 10% hike each year.
This is the main reason for the ruckus around the world. JNU has ensured that there has been absolutely no hike in the university’s education fee, which is still free.
The left-wing students feel that if developed countries like Germany, Sweden or Finland have ensured free education for their students, why shouldn’t India do so?
The right-wing on the other side feels that JNU has already provided a lot of subsidy on education and with the reputation that JNU’s student body has developed over the years, their ‘unreasonable’ demands shouldn’t be met.
Education remains free at JNU, provision of scholarship to many
Agreed that Finland, Sweden, and Germany provide free education, but they do not provide free lodging facilities or food to their students.
Even the primary boarding schools in the country charge the students for their accommodation, so how can the post-graduates studying at JNU demand free lodging facilities?
Another issue with this is premier institutes in India, including IITs, NITs, and IIMs charge more than ₹20000 annually for their hostel accommodation. Most of the students studying at JNU receive free education and scholarships from the university as well.
Better infrastructure and facilities among others
Moreover, students all over the world, when they feel they can not afford hostel accommodation move out to cheaper alternatives or start working part-time to pay their bills. While education remains free of cost, the protests for free lodging doesn’t seem justified.
With the money accrued by the university, better infrastructure and facilities, improved research projects and other facilities for the students would be better investments.
While the main reason for the protests is fee hike, students are also showing their resentment over the university’s new laws and regulations under which their visiting timings are restricted and proper dress codes are defined.
Meanwhile, the JNU administration should understand that these students are adults and have a right to their choices when it comes to clothing and visiting the campus without any restrictions.
Featured image from Pixabay.