The students protesters at Panjab University on Thursday finally broke their hunger strike and called off the ongoing protest against the mess hike. A negotiation has been reached between the authorities and the students at the rates of Rs 27.50 for boys and Rs 26 for girls per meal in the hostel mess.
The University authorities have decided on ad hoc basis, that a subsidy be provided at Rs 2.50 per resident student per meal till January 15, 2013, out of an appropriate Budget Head, as an interim measure. This subsidy will be provided to the resident students who ask for it and shall be adjusted against the Mess Bills of the individuals.
There is a complete roll back on the increased prices at Students Centre and those who can produce a university students identity card will buy food at the old rates. A meeting is further to take place on the issue of the prices of food items at hostel canteens. A meeting was held on Thursday between the Director of Students Welfare and executive members of and representatives of the Panjab University Campus Students Council and leaders of major political parties like PUSU, SFI, NSUI and SFS.
It shall be clear to the students that this is purely an ad hoc arrangement and in case the statutory body of the University does not approve the release of funds, the status quo that exists today will continue, stated an official communication from the office of the Vice Chancellor.
The proposal for increased food subsidy for hostel residents belonging to economically weaker section (EWS) is to be increased from Rs 1000 to Rs 1350 per month. The family income limit of EWS is to be enhanced from Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 3 lakhs per annum.
Senator H S Lucky, who was present on Thusday to negotiate with the students said, India is a welfare state and we have to make a distinction for the masses. The present proposal is also in keeping with the interests of the mess contractors as well as students, as the difference in meal price is to be borne by the authorities and not directly levied on the contractors.