Teachers and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday received support from Members of Parliament (MPs) from different political parties, in their protest against the new admission policy over ‘seat cut’.
The protesters were joined by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, Communist Party of India leader D Raja, Janata Dal United (JDU) leader Ali Anwar Ansari and Communist Party of India (Marxist) A Sampath.
The MPs assured students and teachers that they will raise the issue in the next session of Parliament.
“If people from every category cannot join JNU, then the character of JNU, the hopes with which Indira Gandhi started this university, it will fail its objective. If this issue is not resolved by the time Parliament convenes on March 9, then we all will fight your battle in Parliament,” Singh said.
Raja said, “We give our solid support all your demands. I support the demand raised by teachers and students.”
The new policy puts a cap on the number of students each faculty have. Students and teachers claim this will lead to many schools and centers not taking any student for many years to come.
JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai accused the VC of violating procedures while imposing the new policy. “Two acts of the Parliament have been attacked. Procedures have been violated. All with the intention, that began last year, to shut down JNU. We are being attacked from within. We expect the MPs to take our protest to rest of the Parliament,” she said.
However, the VC had said all procedures were followed. The VC on Tuesday issued an appeal to the JNU community to save the university from “detractors” and “agitators” who appear hell bent upon making JNU dysfunctional.
“This illegal occupation of the administrative building is a criminal offence since a government building is occupied and government employees are prevented from doing their duty by the agitating students,” he said.
Meanwhile, Democratic Students Federation, a left-leaning students’ organization ran a signature campaign against the policy and collected close to 5000 signatures of JNU students.
“We have collected 4,496 signatures of students which we have sent to the President’s office. All of us want the President to intervene in the matter and annul wrongful adoption of the UGC 2016 notification as it leads to seat cut,” said Pratim Ghosal, secretary DSF.