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MPhil, PhD seats issue: MPs come out in support of protesting JNU students

Teachers and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) are protesting after the varsity adopted a UGC gazette that the protesters claim will limit the number of MPhil and PhD seats. MPs Digvijaya Singh and A Raja joined the protesters on Tuesday.

delhi Updated: Feb 21, 2017 14:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
JNU,JNU protest,JNU MPhil
JNU students and teachers hold placards during a protest on Tuesday against seat cut. The protest march taken out from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar.(Zuhaib Mohammad/HT Photo)

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.

Read: JNU announces new admission policy amid student protest, teachers seek President’s intervention

“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.

Read: Students demands are unacceptable, says JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar

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.

First Published: Feb 14, 2017 23:29 IST