Bureau of Dalai Lama writes to GOI to exempt Tibetan students from JNU fee hike

DHARAMSALA, 3 Dec: The Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama based in New Delhi has written to the government of India to exempt Tibetan students from the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s(JNU) “exorbitant fee” hike for foreign students.

The Bureau of the Dalai Lama has written to the Centre over JNU’s fee hike for foreign students effected in July, which it said was applied “unfairly” to Tibetan students, treating them as “foreigners” rather than refugees in India, the Economic Times reported.

The report stated that the Bureau of the Dalai Lama written to the ministries of external affairs and Human Resource Development(HRD) in a letter dated 27 Nov seeking their “urgent intervention.”

Citing officials familiar with the development, it added that the letter also requested for a Tibetan-specific directive to be issued as per the provisions of the home ministry’s Tibetan Rehabilitation policy to all universities including JNU.

The communication, highlighting  JNU’s decision to “treat Tibetan students as any other foreign students” and to charge them an “exorbitant fee” has called it “extremely unfair”.

After receiving the letter from the  Bureau, HRD, formerly Ministry of Education is reported to have sought a report on the matter from the JNU administration.

Appealing the case of the Tibetans before the Centre, the missive from the Bureau of the Dalai Lama has pointed out that the Tibetan students were mostly products of Indian schools or schools under the HRD ministry’s autonomous Central Tibetan Schools Administration, and appealed to exempt them from the fee hike, the report added.

A report dated 23 Nov on the Times of India stated that of the 41 Tibetan refugee students who cleared the entrance test, 39 of them opted out as they were not able to pay.

Meanwhile, JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar argued in the same report that the fee was not revised for a long time and that the revised fee was lesser compared with other countries and universities.

The revised semester fees for International students studying humanities was raised from 100$ to 1,200$ while for the science students it was increased from 100$ to 1,700$.

Prior to the fee hike, JNU’s fee was on a par with most of the other central universities. But now it has become the most expensive central university, the Print reported on 14 Nov.

While the Tibetan refugee students though admitted as foreign students across colleges in Delhi University pay the general quota fee, the report noted that the foreign students pay only $200 as annual fee at Delhi University.

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