JNU research fellows struggle with revised mess fee

New Delhi: Days after the Jawaharlal Nehru University revised charges of late payment of mess dues and other items, many students solely dependent on research fellowships are struggling hard to come to terms with the new fee structure.

“We do not get fellowships and scholarships regularly to pay our dues on time. We get the same in installments, i.e. once in three to six months, and we pay the dues likewise,” said S Rajamathangi, a PhD scholar at the Centre for Linguistics, JNU.

But now we will always be indebted and forced to pay late fee, she said.

Rajamathangi said previously, the fine for late payment of mess bill was Re 1 per day after 24th of a month till last day of that month plus Rs 20 readmission fee.

“So, it was not a huge amount for people like me who come from a deprived background. Now, the revised version is Rs 20 per day and readmission fee is Rs 100,” she said.

A circular issued by the office of Dean of Students on February 27 notified revision of charges of mess admission dues, fine for late payment and charges for extra items.

The circular also mandated its applicability retrospectively from January 1. However, the varsity later clarified that it was only for establishment charges and the hike in fee for rest of the items will be applicable from March 8.

“Under Mess Admission Dues category, the refundable mess security has been increased to Rs 4,500 from the earlier Rs 2,700, while the establishment charges per semester will be Rs 1,100 from Rs 550. Annual crockery/utensils charges have been increased from Rs 50 to Rs 200. Newspaper (annual) is revised from Rs 15 to Rs 50,” the circular said.

A second year MPhil student from Orissa said, “Eorbitant rates have been imposed to kill poor students.”

The administration had claimed that the move was passed in the Inter-Hall Administration meeting, however, when contacted by PTI, presidents of two hostels and JNUSU President Geeta Kumari denied the charge.