Meal hike protest: VC proposes enhancing of food subsidy to EWS

Vice Chancellor Arun Grover on Wednesday once again reiterated the position of the Panjab University authorities on the ongoing student protest against mess hike and proposed an interim solution including fixed meals at old rates. In a press conference organized here, he further said that a long term solution will involve unlimited meals at the enhanced rates and a specific proposal to fully compensate the students belonging to the Economically Weaker Section.

Grover said that a meeting of cross section of the faculty of the Panjab University was convened and it was proposed to enhance the food subsidy provided to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) students from Rs 1000 to Rs 1360 per month, which would amount to completely compensating the increase in cost of lunch and dinner every day. In order to offer this benefit to a larger cross-section of students, it is also proposed to raise the income limit from Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 3 lakhs per annum for needy students.

Grover said that a letter has been sent to the Prime Minister, ministers in the Union Cabinet, Secretaries of various ministries such as Petroleum, MHRD, Finance and senior functionaries of the UT Administration.

A letter has also been written to Chairman, UGC to incorporate the issue of fuel subsidy for residents in university hostels in the Higher Education Budget of the central government as a part of the National Policy on Education, said Grover.

The authorities have already stated that the option of fixed meal shall be provided for the students at the earlier rates of Rs 24 for boys and Rs 22.50 for girls and is open for the students to opt for. The students, though, have strongly condemned the idea of having a fixed meal and have said that the final price of Rs 26 for boys and Rs 24 for girls is acceptable to them.

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