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HRD Ministry not likely to interfere in JNU fee hike issue, may facilitate resolution


New Delhi, Dec 09: The government is unlikely to make a direct intervention to resolve the issue between JNU administration and students protesting against hike in hostel fees, official sources said on Monday.

Representational image

The HRD Ministry may "facilitate" a resolution but will not issue any "directive", they said. "Issuing a directive may be undermining their autonomy. We will facilitate the resolution rather than directly interfering in it," an official source said.

The ministry last month set up a three-member committee to recommend ways to restore normalcy in JNU and mediate between students and university administration.

The panel has submitted its report but the ministry is yet to take a call on it. The ministry last week asked the high-powered committee appointed by it to compare the hostel fee structure of JNU, after the second rollback, with other central universities.

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' informed Lok Sabha on Monday the government has not directed any central university to increase fees. His comment came on a day police lathicharged JNU students when they tried to march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet the president and urge him to ensure the hike in hostel fee is completely rolled back.

JNU protest: Police resort to lathicharge after clash with students

The JNU administration on the other hand said in a statement the students have been invited for a talk but they have been "spreading false statements and not attending the meeting".

The students have been protesting for over a month inside the campus against the hostel fee hike and have also called for a boycott of the upcoming semester exams, despite repeated appeals by the administration asking them to return to classes.

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