Having burnt its fingers at the University of Hyderabad where a Dalit PhD scholar committed suicide, the union human resource development ministry is treading cautiously at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
According to officials, the HRD ministry on Wednesday asked the registrar of Jawaharlal Nehru University to address genuine grievances of students. A Dailt scholar has threatened to commit suicide at JNU over harassment regarding his fellowship.
On Tuesday, Madan Meher, who is registered with the International Organisation Division at the university’s Center for International Politics Organisation and Disarmament (CIPOD), alleged that he was refused an extension under ‘9b’.
‘9b’ is a one-year extension given to students to complete their PhD after the usual term of four years, if the student has completed 90% of the work. The student is given an extension of one year and four months. However, Meher alleged that despite submitting required documents, he was not given an extension.
“The ministry has asked the university to interact with the students and listen to their grievances. We were later informed that the registrar met the students and that he would take the necessary action,” the HRD spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Sources in the ministry said that the university was reviewing fellowships on an urgent basis to ensure there was no delay in releasing funds.
Meher, who has qualified NET/JRF too, claimed that an RTI reply revealed that not a single Dalit student had received their PhD from his centre.
Vice-chancellor SK Sopory on Tuesday said that he had asked the administration to keep a watch on the student and prevent him from taking any extreme step.