The University has issued the following clarification in response to a false, distorted news story that appeared in the Times of India on December 15, 2016 headlined Getting messy at UoH: No money to cough up fines
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Dear Sir,

This is with reference to the story that has appeared in the Times of India on 15th December 2016. Your reporter has just picked some postings appearing in the Facebook and published a one-sided distorted report on the above mentioned issue thereby trying to misguide the students and the general public. This is highly irresponsible reporting on the part of a national newspaper like the Times of India.

Now coming to the facts of the issue. The Chief Warden’s Office (CWO) has not imposed any fine on non-payment of mess dues. In fact, while making the mess dues public, it has also advised them through emails and SMSes that it would not be possible for at least four mess facilities to be opened in January 2017 if students do not pay the mess dues. The notices are online and so are the mess dues of the students.

The notice on paying the mess dues makes it clear that if students are scholarship or fellowship holders, they only need to pay the excess amount. Only those who are not beneficiaries of any scholarship/ fellowship are required to pay the dues in full. The notice is available online at: http://uohhostels.in/mess-dues-important-notice-to-boarders/. Nowhere does the notice mention a fine on the mess dues. Further, following an appeal by several students, the CWO also put out the bank account numbers of the respective hostels to enable students to pay their dues online during the one month vacation period. (http://uohhostels.in/pay-mess-dues-through-bank-transfer/)

Closure of mess facility

The report also wrongly mentions that two mess facilities have already been closed. While it is a fact that one mess facility was closed for four days due to non-availability of a healthy balance in the mess account, it was reopened soon after, with the CWO helping the mess with some funds. Three more mess facilities also functioned with loans ranging from Rs.4.5 – 7 lakhs. However, if students do not pay their mess dues in time for the January semester, the CWO will be forced to close at least four mess facilities that do not have enough funds and are not in a position to repay the loans.

It is the duty of the university to keep the parents informed on critical issues such as these and therefore the CWO sent out messages to the parents too. The matter has also been discussed with the Students Union President.

The CWO puts out all notices and announcements on the website: www.uohhostels.in.

The reporter would do well to subscribe to updates from the Chief Warden’s website to know the facts before reporting only one side of the story.

You are requested to publish the rejoinder from the University so that the facts are brought before the students and the public.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,
Ashish Jacob Thomas
Public Relations Officer