The All-India Students' Association, Students Federation of India and Forum for Defending and Implementing Democracy on Thursday held a demonstration outside the Administration Block of Jawaharlal Nehru University and protested against the administration's alleged attempts to scuttle the legally-mandated 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes in the university.

After the demonstration, the leaders of the three groups addressed the media and charged that only 15 per cent OBC reservation has been given in the Master of Arts programmes in JNU this year.

Stating that in the admissions for 2010-2011, as many as 94 OBC seats in the MA programmes have gone unfilled due to a “faulty cut off criteria”, the students added that in the results declared for the BA programmes too, there was a shortfall of another 18 OBC seats and only 24 per cent OBC reservation has been provided.

Critical of the JNU administration, the students have threatened to move court over the issue.

General secretary of JNU unit of AISA Sucheta De said for over two years, the students have been struggling to get the legally mandated 27 per cent OBC reservation implemented in JNU. “The administration had been applying a faulty, illegal and illogical cut-off criterion for OBC candidates, leading to a massive non-fulfilment of OBC seats,” she added.

The students' association said after a protracted struggle, a decision was finally taken at the Dean's Committee meeting on June 17 that favoured admissions on a model that would ensure correct implementation of OBC reservations and filling of OBC seats.

“However, just before the results of the 2010-2011 admissions were announced, the JNU administration called a hasty meeting of the same Dean's Committee, where its earlier decision was upturned and revoked. Subsequently, the JNU administration has decided to follow the same faulty cut-off criteria which had led to massive non-fulfilment of OBC seats for the past two years,” Ms. De lamented.

In reverting back to the “faulty” cut-off criteria, she charged that the JNU administration had pandered to the casteist anti-reservation forces and declared that “nothing could be more shocking, and more demeaning for JNU's reputation of upholding social justice”.

On behalf of SFI, P.K. Anand demanded that urgent steps be initiated to implement the OBC reservation at JNU.

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