Take steps to restore normalcy in JNU: HRD Min to VC

As protests against January 5 violence in the JNU continued, the HRD ministry on Wednesday summoned Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar and asked him to be more sensitive towards the students and take “proactive” measures to restore normalcy in the campus “at the earliest.”

The ministry also asked the vice-chancellor not to “pressurise” students by setting “hard and fast” deadline for winter semester registration, underlining that the university was there to provide education to the students, “not to devoid them from education”.

The ministry instructed the JNU Vice-Chancellor to only collect revised fee of the hostel rooms—Rs 300 per person for double bed and Rs 600 per person for single bed—from the students, not any other charge, as agreed during a series of meetings with the varsity administration and its students union after a series of meetings in December last month. 

The ministry told the Vice-Chancellor not to worry about the availability of funds to bear the cost of services and utility charges, asserting that government has “adequate funds” for it. Students belonging to below poverty line (BPL) should get 50% concession in hostel room fee as agreed in December last year.

This came during a meeting of the JNU Vice-Chancellor and rector II of the university Satish Chandra Garkoti with higher education secretary of the HRD ministry Amit Khare.

This was for the first time JNU VC attended any meeting with the HRD ministry official so since the row over hostel fee hike erupted and students went on an indefinite strike protesting it. Joint

“Why to put pressure on the students for winter semester registration by giving them a hard and fast deadline for it? Give them some time. They are your students. University is here to provide them with education, not to devoid them from education,” Khare told JNU VC and rector during his meeting with them in the ministry.

To restore normalcy in the campus, Khare asked the VC to reach out to the agitating faculty members of the university and bring them into confidence, if it was not possible to meet the students “at this juncture.”

“They may have some grievances with you. They should know what is your stand. Meet them. Bring them into confidence,” Khare told the JNU VC.

Khare instructed the VC to be “more communicative and open” to the students and also to media.

“Why to avoid media and create unnecessary doubt? Meet Press,” the higher education secretary told the JNU officials.

After the meeting, JNU VC said in a tweet that ministry was briefed during the meeting about the steps being taken at the JNU to bring normalcy.

“All efforts are being made to facilitate winter semester registration for willing students and a conducive environment for their academic pursuits,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Delhi University students took out a march in solidarity with the JNU students, protesting against January 5 violence. They also registered protest against the new citizenship law, national register of citizens (NRC) and national population register (NPR), and boycotted their classes joining the Bharat bandh called given by the trade unions.

JNU students, who continued their strike in the campus, could not take out a protest march due to rain, The students body of the university later gave a call for citizen march in the national capital on January 9 to press for the removal of the VC from the post.

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