Exempt Tibetans from JNU fee hike: Dalai Lama

NEW DELHI: The Centre, which is still battling with the crisis over the fee hike at Jawaharlal Nehru University, has now on its table another complaint on the “exorbitant fee” — from the office of the Dalai Lama.

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 letter, dated November 27, has sought an “urgent intervention” of the ministries of external affairs and HRD, requesting that a Tibetan-specific directive be issued as per the provisions of the home ministry’s Tibetan Rehabilitation policy to all universities including JNU, officials in the know told ET.

The HRD ministry is learnt to have sought a report on the matter from the JNU administration. The Dalai Lama’s office 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 that they be spared of the fee hike.

JNU in July raised the annual fee for foreign quota students from $100 to $1,200 for social sciences and to $1,700 for sciences. The fee hike applied to Tibetans admitted under the quota as foreigners. The communication has termed JNU’s decision to “treat Tibetan students as any other foreign students” and to charge them an “exorbitant fee” as “extremely unfair”.

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