JNU will open in a phased manner, non-PhD students need to be patient, says V-C
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar on Monday said the varsity is working towards a phased reopening and asked students of non-PhD courses to exercise patience. Kumar, along with other officials of JNU, said this while addressing students through a Facebook Live session on the staggered reopening of the campus to PhD students.
Asking students of masters and other courses to exercise patience, he said a committee on reopening was working towards the initiation of in-person classes. “Be it Jamia or other universities, we are all working on a phased reopening. If we suddenly let in a large number of students and they do not follow Covid protocols, that can lead to a situation where Covid may come back. We would like everyone (back) on campus sooner or later,” said Kumar.
He said the university will be holding its convocation ceremony in the last week of this month. During the Live session, officials also informed students that the executive council of the university has decided to waive the hostel fee for all students. Officials also answered student queries ranging from admissions to scholarships and hostel allotments.
On the resumption of in-person classes for all courses, Kumar said online classes will continue till the government gives permission for initiation of classes for all.
Referring to the reopening of schools, he said it was important to understand that students of a university came from different parts of the country, whereas school students belonged to the local area. “We need to understand that a school has students from a local area whereas in a university, we have students from across the country. Many of our students are living in regions where Covid is still quite prevalent. Thus, it is not advisable to start offline classes as of now,” said Kumar.
Professor RP Singh, the rector 3 of the university and a member of the Covid monitoring committee, said, “In the next meeting of the committee, we will be discussing the opening of the campus for final year students of masters courses who have to complete their studies, especially those who need to access labs for practicals or those who have to submit their dissertations.”
The JNU students union on Monday also started an indefinite protest outside the dean of students’ office. Seeking the reopening of the university, student union members met the dean and put forth demands which included the immediate commencement of allotment of hostel rooms to 2020 and 2019 batch students, the issuance of identity card to first-year students, improvement in hostel infrastructure, and universal vaccination, among other demands.
The student body has called for a protest march on Tuesday. “Upon receiving no concrete response on any of the demands from the dean of students, JNUSU has given a call for an indefinite sit-in before the dean’s office starting now ( Monday),” the JNUSU said in a statement.