More than half of JNU students can afford fee hike, show data. So why this agitation?
JNU students are once more in the news and TV shows with visuals of dramatic protests. But this is more about sound and fury signifying nothing; rather signifying Left politics.
They have taken to the streets in Delhi over fee hike. So let us look at stripping all the sound and noise around the issue.
Students claim that they cannot afford the fee hike. But official data shows that a majority of the students don’t belong to the economically backward classes. In fact, figures for 2017-18 show that 58% of the students who took admission have reported their family income to be above Rs 12,000 per month. There are some students whose monthly family income goes past even Rs 10 lakh and they are on the streets demanding fee reduction!
The university manual divides students seeking admission into three categories based on their income — those whose families have an income of less than Rs 6,000 per month, between Rs 6,000 and Rs 12,000, and above Rs 12,000. Points for admission are allocated based on these categories. Those belonging to the first category get more points than the other two. Admission data collated of the past four years clearly show that a majority of the students belong to the third category.
“At least 50% of the students can afford the hike but our fight is for the poor students,” said a protester. If that is the case, let them identify the poor students and the university can extend concession.
In fact, the university announced that BPL students would get a concession. But the students are unmoved with no end in sight of their agitation.
In the agitation, it is the poor students who are badly hit, not the rich and mighty.
A former official was quoted in The New Indian Express as saying: “The executive committee met and recommended a discount of 50% to students falling under the poverty line…There has been some relief. This is nothing in comparison with other universities. How many times can you give concessions? The university is giving a fixed grant every year… If expenses shoot up, you run to the UGC. They may give you more grant or they may refuse.”
The protests are nothing but Left politics in play, not fee hike.