Is the strike of JNU students their legal right?


By Shruti Mishra

Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU),  the premier central university of India has  given leaders like Nirmala Sitaraman, Abhijeet Banerjee and  Subhramanyam Jaishanker etc. Recently the  University is making headlines  due to the strike by the students of  University.

JNU which is also a dream educational destination for millions of students, a college where a child of even that family can also study whose income is 10rs per day or a child whose family’s income is 10lakh per day. JNU, without a doubt is an academic institute of eminence and excellence, one that needs to be supported on this difficult time of students.

As we know the current scenario of JNU has completely changed earlier the fees for single occupancy was 20rs which has now hiked to 600rs and the earlier fees of double occupancy was 10rs which has hiked to 300rs and according to a survey of JNU’s annual report of 2017-2018, out of  1556 students of JNU, 623 students come from a family whose monthly income is 12000rs which equals to 40% of its total students and they are not even capable of paying the earlier fees so how the government is expecting them to pay fees which is 300 times higher. At the same time where the GDP of our country is going down, farmers are doing suicide, unemployment is on its peak, and there’s no increase in salary of people and suddenly there’s 300 times higher fee hike, it’s really strange.

If Government institutions will also become so expensive then everyone will not get the access to education where 1 in every 5 Indian is poor. Earlier the library of JNU used to remain open all time but now according to new manual the library will be closed after 11pm, isn’t it a violation of student’s right to study and access of knowledge? The library is meant for study so why can’t students have access to library even after 11pm? JNU students have every legal right to protest against the fee hike and new hostel manual. People are giving baseless points that JNU students can go watch movies, do shopping etc, but can’t give 300rs fees but let’s not forget the fact that in JNU those students are also studying whose family can’t even afford one time meal.

The question really is why should education be commoditized and unaffordable in a country like India where the constitution guarantees right to education as one of our Fundamental Rights. The spirit of the constitution is to enable people to have access to education. If this fee hike comes into play 43% of JNU students would’ve to stop studying as it’ll be unaffordable for them to pay such fee. The fee hike is something that is affecting all the students of JNU and it’s their very legal and legitimate right to protest against it as their VC is also not willing to talk to them or even meet them so if the college administration itself will not listen to its student’s problem then who’ll help them. The fee hike in a way is an attack on public education and is hugely problematic.

The real issue is a why should a centrally funded educational institution run like a private business by asking the students to pay utility charges and so on. The aim of such institutions is to make education available to one and all but by their act it seems like they don’t want students from villages or poor students to get good education.


Shruti Mishra is doing  LLB from School of law at  Manipal University, Jaipur

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