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Javadekar says police doing its job, questions agitation over missing JNU student

india Updated: Dec 13, 2016 01:28 IST
Neelam Pandey
Prakash Javadekar

Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar speaks during a press conference in Varanasi.(PTI File Photo)

Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students should help police in their hunt for missing student Najeeb Ahmad instead of agitating against the institute’s vice-chancellor.

Javadekar also disclosed plans to place a ceiling on the fees charged by CBSE-affiliated schools from students. He said the HRD ministry has asked all such schools to submit their income and expenditure account and balance sheets, following which appropriate action would be taken.

“Yes, education has a cost, and if there is a private education, there will be a cost. If someone invests, they have to invest in a non-profit. Though there are costs (infrastructure, salaries etc), it is still a non-profit,” he said.

The government has also asked the schools to place information regarding their facilities, infrastructure and fees in the public domain to prevent them from overcharging. There are 18,000 CBSE-affiliated schools across the country, a majority of which are private.

The government is expected take a call on such schools before the upcoming academic session. A CBSE official said affiliation bylaws stipulate that the fee should be in line with the facilities provided.

Speaking on Ahmad, Javadekar said he hoped the biotechnology student would be found soon but expressed disapproval over the protests being taken up against vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar.

“I believe that ultimately police will be able to find him, and we also hope that he will be fine and healthy. That’s what our good wishes are. The issue is, it is a case of a missing student and, therefore, we must help the police by giving any possible leads. Agitation is right, but agitation for a thing that is beyond the control of the VC – how can you do that? I think giving leads is the way forward,” he told HT in an interview.

Ahmad, a biotechnology student, had gone missing on October 15 after an alleged altercation with members of the right-wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Though an internal enquiry found some of them guilty of assaulting Ahmad, no action was taken.