JNU protests: HRD Ministry appoints three-member committee to recommend ways to restore normal functioning of varsity

  • In the wake of the ongoing protests by the JNU Students' Union against hostel fee hike, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on Monday appointed a three-member committee to recommend ways to restore normal functioning of the varsity

  • The ministry's committee on JNU will initiate dialogues with students and administration as well as submit recommendations on a resolution of all issues, said officials

  • Ahead of the planned march, heavy police deployment was made outside the university's campus on Monday. The agitation comes on the first day of the Parliament's Winter Session, which will end on 13 December

In the wake of the ongoing protests by the JNU Students' Union against hostel fee hike, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry on Monday appointed a three-member committee to recommend ways to restore normal functioning of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

The ministry's committee on JNU will initiate dialogues with students and administration as well as submit recommendations on a resolution of all issues, said officials.

The move comes on a day JNU students have planned a protest march to Parliament, continuing their agitation against the hostel fee hike.

"With a view to restore the normal functioning of JNU through dialogue with all stakeholders and to advise the university administration for resolution of contentious issues, the government has appointed a three-member high power committee," HRD Secretary R Subrahmanyam said.

The panel includes former UGC Chairman VS Chauhan, AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe and UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain. "The committee will initiate dialogue with the students and varsity administration immediately and submit recommendations on actions to be taken. The UGC will provide required support for functioning of the committee," Subrahmanyam said.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Students' Union (JNUSU) had said it would take out a march to Parliament on Monday to protest against the hostel fee hike. It also said it will be a march to save public education and appeal to MPs to take up the cause.

Ahead of the planned march, heavy police deployment was made outside the university's campus on Monday. The agitation comes on the first day of the Parliament's Winter Session, which will end on 13 December.

The agitation comes on the first day of the Parliament's Winter Session, which will end on 13 December.

The students' protest against the increase in hostel fee is ongoing for the past three weeks, even as the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration on Wednesday announced a partial rollback of the hike. The union had termed the decision an "eyewash".

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Ten companies are deployed outside JNU, police said. One company comprises 70 to 80 personnel.

The JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) expressed concern over the deployment of police outside the varsity.

"The massive police deployment and barricading at the gates of the JNU campus, which on the face of it appears to be only for the purpose of preventing the students from taking out their planned march to Parliament," it said.

"Such measures or use of force to thwart the exercise of constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights and to impede the students from peacefully taking their voice beyond the campus would be extremely unfortunate and the JNUTA hopes that no such situation will eventually arise," the association said.

JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar urged the protesting students on Sunday to return to their classes as exams are near.

In a video message released on the varsity's website, he said he has been getting e-mails from worried parents and students about the situation in the university which is affecting academic activities.

 JNU protests: HRD Ministry appoints three-member committee to recommend ways to restore normal functioning of varsity

Police stop JNU students who were staging a protest over the hostel fee hike. PTI

"If we still continue with the strike and cause academic loss, it is going to affect the future of thousands of students.

"From tomorrow, a new week will begin and I request the students to come back to the classes and resume your research activities. From 12 December, the semester exams will start and if you do not attend classes, it will affect your future goals," Kumar said.

On Sunday, a section of teachers also held a press conference and claimed that a handful of students have terrorised other pupils and are not allowing them to attend classes.

"There are 8,000 students in the university and at least 6,000 of them want to attend classes. But 200 or so students are not allowing them and have created an atmosphere of terror," said one of the professors at the press conference.

University registrar Pramod Kumar also appealed to students to get back to classes.

"Due to the ongoing strike by a group of students, thousands of students who wish to participate in the JNU academic programmes and plan to complete their academic requirements for continuance in the university, are adversely affected," he said in a circular.

"It is in the interest of the students to adhere to the academic norms and academic calendar of the university according to which they need to appear in the end-semester examination that commences from 12 December," he said.

The last date for submission of MPhil dissertation and PhD thesis in the schools and forwarding the same to the evaluation branch is 31 December for the monsoon semester.

"Since the academic calendar has been approved by the Academic Council and the Executive Council, there is going to be no relaxation in the above deadlines," the registrar said.

If the academic requirements are not met in time, thousands of students may be affected, he added.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 18, 2019 12:35:56 IST