Arpita Das|Feb 8, 2023
Rs 8.6 lakh spent on JNU VC's home in 4 months; Students still await fellowships
JNU students have been sitting on an indefinite strike alleging that they are struggling to clear mess dues, demanded administration to discuss issues.
By Sanjay and Anu Parthiban
NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has spent more than Rs 10 lakh for seven different works on its Vice Chancellor’s house in two years, shows a Right to Information (RTI) reply. Of Rs 10 lakh, an amount of Rs 8.6 lakhs was spent in just four months between February 18 and May 12, 2022. JNU’s new VC Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit joined the premiere university on February 7, 2022.
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The revelations through RTI have come at a time when JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) along with the student community has been sitting on an indefinite strike for the past four days alleging that the students are struggling to clear mess dues because “Merit-cum-means (MCM) is not being released by the university.” The protesting students have been demanding the JNU administration to discuss the pertinent issues within the campus premises on an “immediate basis.”
In a RTI reply, JNU’s engineering department has informed that it has incurred expenditure on seven different works during 2020 to 2022 at JNU VC office amounting to Rs 10,04,045 against the estimated/sanctioned cost of Rs 9,74,946. The RTI was filed by Madhurima Kundu, AISA secretary at JNU who is pursing PhD in Economics.
The RTI was filed on June 23, 2022 and reply to the questions regarding work at JNV VC’s house was given on August 23, 2022. An amount of Rs 4.25 lakh was spent on replacement of ACs in JNU VC's residence in March 2022. On April 14, JNU received Rs 56.34 crores for hostel repairs and maintenance from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the ministry of education following the incident of a student getting injured due to the collapse of the roof of the Sabarmati hostel.
Following is the breakup of different works carried out under the supervision of JNU’s engineering department at JNU VC’s house.
“The JNU VC has spent more than Rs 8.6 lakhs in just 4 months between February and May to renovate the VC House. Geysers, ACs have been bought. Even now, many renovation works are going on. However, our fellowships are not being disbursed on time. We have to clear mess dues for semester registration. Many students are unable to do so since they haven't received their fellowships. Student activists are being fined up to Rs 10,000 for protesting against fee hike and seat cuts,” Kundu told Careers360.
JNU registrar Ravikesh and JNU finance officer Anup Kuksal did not respond to Careers360 calls.
Claiming that the students have been “denied right”, JNUSU in a statement said that they have been continuously demanding for new hostels, books in the library or opening of reading rooms.
Meanwhile, the JNU today organised a Bhoomi Pujan for the making of a 'Tribune Wall”. The students also registered a silent protest at the event and highlighted the “worsening condition of the campus”
“When thousands of crores are being spent on beautification of the campus under the garb of nationalism, it's extremely disgusting to see the apathy with which JNU Administration is dealing with pressing issues of students in the campus. The students are having to put up in hostel rooms with falling rooms, without water and scholarships,” JNUSU further said.
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