Jamia Millia Islamia cancels activist Safoora Zargar’s admission

Published on Aug 29, 2022 04:58 PM IST

Zargar, 29, said the action has broken her heart but not her spirit while accusing the university of foregoing all due process

Zargar shared the cancellation letter on social media on Monday. (Twitter)
Zargar shared the cancellation letter on social media on Monday. (Twitter)
BySadia Akhtar

Jamia Millia Islamia has cancelled activist and research scholar Safoora Zargar’s admission days after she accused the university administration of stalling her requests for an extension of her M Phil thesis submission.

Zargar, who was jailed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the alleged conspiracy case related to the Delhi riots and was released on bail in June 2020 on humanitarian and medical grounds, said the action has broken her heart but not her spirit while accusing the university of foregoing all due process.

In a notification, the office of the dean, faculty of social sciences, on Friday said the cancellation was approved on the recommendation of the Research Advisory Committee and the Department Research Committee.

“Her progress report by the supervisor was unsatisfactory. The scholar did not apply for an extension, as a woman scholar, before the expiry of the stipulated maximum period. The scholar did not submit her MPhil dissertation within the maximum stipulated time of five semesters plus an additional semester of COVID extension (6th semester) that was also given to her, which ended on 6th February 2022. Hence, the registration of...Zargar from Mphil-PhD stands cancelled with effect from 22 August, in anticipation of the approval of the same of the faculty committee,” said professor Ravinder Kumar, dean, social sciences.

Zargar shared the cancellation letter on Twitter on Monday and wrote: “The usually snail-paced Jamia admin moving at light speed to cancel my admission, foregoing all due process. Let it be known, it breaks my heart but not my spirit.”

In a letter to vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar last Wednesday, Zargar, 29, alleged she was facing undue harassment from the department of sociology, where she was enrolled in the integrated M Phil-Ph D programme.

Zargar added she was being denied extensions for submission of her thesis while they were being extended for other scholars. She said she received only one Covid extension while the University Grants Commission (UGC) offered five.

The UGC has granted four extensions for submission of MPhil and PhD thesis to help scholars make up for time lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest such extension was granted in May. Universities were allowed to give another extension of up to six months beyond June 30.

In a statement on last Thursday, Jamia said Zargar received three extensions including one related to Covid for her thesis submission. “There is no provision for any further Covid extension as per the UGC notification as the scholar has been claiming.”

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