JNU students protest seat cut in courses outside UGC office

JNU students protest seat cut in courses outside UGC office

JNU students protesting massive seat cut in MPhil and PhD courses today staged a protest outside the UGC building and blocked road at the busy ITO crossing here.

Police had a hard time removing the students, who shouted slogans against the University Grants Commission and demanded roll back of the decision to reduce the number of seats, from the road and resuming normal traffic.

The students alleged that the police "manhandled" them during the protest.

"We blocked the road as we were not allowed to meet the UGC Chairman. Police manhandled us but no one was detained," said JNU Students Union President Mohit Pandey.

Pandey said they will hold a bigger protest at the UGC office on March 28 and their ongoing strike will continue.

The varsity had released its prospectus on Tuesday effecting seat cuts in the MPhil/PhD programmes across courses.

"When HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar himself is accepting that the seat cut is due to non-recruitment of faculties, then why students are being punished?" the JNUSU president asked.

The students also submitted a memorandum to a UGC official.

"We demand that JNU should be allowed to uphold its institutional autonomy and prepare a robust defence of its existing MPhil and PhD admission policy along with the Nafey Committee recommendations," the memorandum stated.

The JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) also extended support to the students and passed a resolution in their favour at the emergency general meeting yesterday.

"Like the students of the university, the teachers feel anger, desperation, and a sense of profound grief that university atmosphere that has given each of us so much has been so spitefully attacked from within," the JNUTA had said in a statement.

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