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JNU postpones academic council meeting, students cry foul

Students and a section of teachers have been protesting against the mandatory attendance issue at the Jawaharlal Nehru University

delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2018 23:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
JNU,JNUSU protest,mandatory attendance
JNU has ‘indefinitely’ postponed the academic council meeting (HT file )

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University has “indefinitely” postponed the Academic Council meeting to be held on February 23, giving rise to allegations from the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) that the administration is unwilling to interact with the students and teachers regarding the mandatory attendance issue at the university.

Many students across party lines and a section of teachers have been protesting against the new policy and a strike has been going on since Friday. Since Saturday, students have been gathering at the outlawed ‘freedom square’ outside the administrative block every day to resist the move.

The registrar has issued an “appeal to the JNU’s academic community” that the protest is in violation of the JNU rules and the Delhi High Court orders, and that the Sabarmati Hotel lawns was “designated for holding protest demonstrations”.

“While the administration encourages debate, discussion, dissent and even peaceful and lawful methods of protest, the JNUSU, now supported by the JNU Teachers Association, appear hellbent on violating the rules and regulations,” reads the statement, while adding that the attendance policy was in keeping with UGC regulations.

JNUSU general secretary Duggirala Srikrishna said that all office bearers had also received personal notices from the registrar asking them to cease protests at the ‘freedom square’, and have even received disciplinary notices from the chief proctor’s office. However, they are continuing with their protests at the same place.

The JNUSU has, in turn, alleged that the administration is “scared of facing students and teachers,” and has hence postponed the AC meeting, which was supposed to be held on February 23.

“By not conducting the AC at a time when thousands of JNU students have been boycotting compulsory attendance and protesting at Ad Block — the JNU administration proved that it is not interested to discuss the issue in the highest decision-making body of the university. Indeed, true to his track record, JNU V-C is once again running away from all institutional and democratic accountability for his arbitrary steps,” reads a statement released by the JNUSU, which also demands that the meeting should be held as scheduled before.

The V-C and the registrar were unavailable for comment.

First Published: Feb 13, 2018 23:49 IST