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JNU compromise deal back on the table

Police and students outside the JNU campus, after an attack by some masked miscreants inside the campus on January 5, 2020.

Police and students outside the JNU campus, after an attack by some masked miscreants inside the campus on January 5, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Students should end protests as basic demands now met, says HRD Secy

The compromise formula currently under discussion between agitating students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and its Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar is the same as the agreement that was under discussion a month ago and led to the transfer of then Secretary of Higher Education R. Subrahmanyam.

On December 11, following talks between both sides, Higher Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had given the Vice-Chancellor an ultimatum to implement the agreement or resign, according to a senior government official. However, neither side implemented the terms of the agreement. On December 13, Mr. Subrahmanyam, who had been coordinating the talks, was transferred, and the students’ agitation resumed.

On Friday, current HRD Secretary Amit Khare separately met Dr. Kumar and the leaders of the students’ union in yet another attempt to broker peace in the two-and-a-half month long stand-off. The row, initially sparked by a hostel fee hike, has led to mass street protests and saw attacks against students and teachers on campus last weekend.

Following the discussions, Mr. Khare told reporters that as the JNU administration has met the basic demands of students on hostel fees, the latter should withdraw the agitation.

However, Mr. Khare was non-committal on the students’ demand for notification of their elected union, only saying that “while many other demands may be there, the basic demand has been met.”

On Friday, Dr. Kumar told the Ministry that he was “taking all steps to implement the decisions arrived at” in the December 11 agreement. However, action has only been taken on the issue of hostel fees.

Student leaders said they would take the Ministry’s proposal back to the Union office-bearers.

However, the students remained firm on the removal of Dr. Kumar. “We have lost all faith in the V-C. We will not budge from our demand,” said Ms. Ghosh.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 6:34:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jnu-compromise-deal-back-on-the-table/article30537373.ece

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