EC members were taken to ‘undisclosed’ venue for meet

Teachers who are part of the panel claimed they were not kept in the loop

There was much drama on campus at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Wednesday morning outside the Convention Centre that was supposed to be the venue for the Executive Committee meeting of the university.

Students gathered to protest at the venue and planned to stop the members from entering the building.

But the administration changed the venue of the meeting at the last minute, and the EC members were taken to an “undisclosed” place where the meeting took place.

The elected teachers’ representatives, who are part of the EC, said that they along with five other Deans, reached the Convention Centre at 10 a.m. but the JNU vice-chancellor did not show up. His team of Rectors, the Registrar and external members were also missing.

“We tried to call the Registrar and the V-C’s office but we did not get any communication. Around 11.15 a.m., some of the members were approached by a security official who told them to accompany him to an undisclosed location, without any official communication of the same,” the teachers said.

The teachers said that around 12.40 p.m., they received a mail from the administration informing them that the meeting was to be held at the Association of Indian Universities, and that it would be held at 12.30 p.m.

The JNU Registrar, however, said that EC members were told about the new venue and most of them reached the place in time.

Reacting to a statement issued by the university regarding the EC meeting, the JNU Teachers’ Association said that it was absolutely clear that there is no rollback of the shift to an entirely self-financing model of running the hostels... “the university is washing its hands off its responsibilities completely”.

Cosmetic changes

“The increase in monthly charges for most students will remain roughly ₹3,000. This will be an exorbitant increase for several students even if they are not in the BPL category as many low income households are not counted in that category. Even for BPL category students, the increase in charges will be to the order of ₹1,500 per month, a burden which no BPL household can bear,” the teachers said, calling the changes cosmetic.

“These changes do not even remotely address the problem that JNU will be shutting its doors to students from underprivileged backgrounds through hike in hostel fee,” the teachers said.

After the Executive Committee meeting was shifted to a new location, the students protesting at the Convention Centre moved their agitation to the administration block where they raised slogans. They said that they would not leave the venue till the Vice-Chancellor addressed them directly.

Some students even defaced the walls of the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

Complete rollback

The students said that their movement would continue till there was a complete rollback of the draft hostel manual and that the partial rollback — apart from increasing the hostel fees by nearly 1,000% — was silent on user fees of water and electricity that is proposed to be as per actual consumption.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 10:30:12 PM |

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