HRD Min appoints committee to restore normalcy in JNU

Police stop JNU students who were staging a protest over the hostel fee hike outside the UGC office at ITO in New Delhi, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (PTI photo)

As the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students undertook a march to Parliament demanding complete roll back of the proposed changes in the hostel rules and hostel fee hike, the government on Monday appointed a high-level committee for resolution of the “contentious issues”.

The three member committee, comprising former University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman V S Chouhan, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe and UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain, will hold talks with the students and the JNU administration, and submit its recommendations to the HRD Ministry on the actions to be taken to restore normal functioning of the university.   

“The said committee is requested to initiate dialogue with the students and the university administration immediately,” the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry said, issuing a notification with regard to the constitution of the high-level committee.

The ministry said that the government has appointed the committee “with a view of restoring the normal functioning of the JNU through dialogue with the stakeholders and to advise the university administration for resolution of the contentious issues”.     

Thousands of JNU students, who have been protesting against the changes in hostel rules and hostel fee hike for last three weeks, undertook their march to Parliament from the campus pressing for their demand for complete roll back of all changes in the hostel rules, amid heavy deployment of security forces by Delhi police.

Restrictions under Section 144 were imposed by the local administration near the JNU campus ahead of the students’ protest march and barricades were put up by police at all the entry and exit points in the university, and at various locations in the city to stop students from reaching Parliament.

JNU teachers association criticised the administration and expressed concern over the deployment of police to prevent students from carrying out their march to Parliament.

“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 teachers’ body said.

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