JNU sees a decline in academic expenses, legal and security costs go up: Report

In the last three financial years, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has seen a substantial decrease in its academic expenses, but the legal and security costs have increased in the same period.

According to a report by Hindustan Times, the financial reports of the last three years show that annual academic expenses decreased by 26.38% from Rs 38.36 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 28.24 crore in 2018-19, and by another 30% to Rs 19.74 crore in 2019-20. Academic expenses include important components such as spends on seminars and workshops, journals and publications, and teaching aids and research activities.

Meanwhile, an additional fund of Rs 30 lakh was approved for legal expenses this year in the executive council meeting held on September 7. This is addition to the already sanctioned budget of Rs 9 lakh. The cost for the same was Rs 2.72 lakh in 2017-18 and Rs 17.7 lakh in 2018-19.

Security spending increased from Rs 17.37 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 18.54 crore in 2018-19. The budget was Rs 15.34 crore for 2019-’20. Also the students’ fellowships/stipends -- also part of academic expenses -- decreased by at least 84% in 2018-19 to Rs 2.57 crore from Rs 18.22 crore in 2017-18. It fell further to Rs 2.39 crore in 2019-20.

JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar told the Hindustan Times that has not affected their performance, confirming that the matter was discussed on Monday. “The university has been constantly on the top of all national rankings,” he added.

Meanwhile, JNU will hold its fourth convocation virtually in November, a statement from the varsity said. Noting that a convocation is a special moment in the life of a student, JNU Vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said despite the coronavirus pandemic, the varsity has decided to hold the convocation to make it a memorable event for the students.

The convocation committee will work out the details on holding the virtual event sometime in November. Last year, thousands of JNU students clashed with police as their protest over fee hike on the varsity''s convocation day escalated, forcing HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ''Nishank'' to stay inside the AICTE premises for over six hours.

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