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JNU VC Holds Meeting with Students Representatives and Teachers, No Headway

The students told the media after the meeting that the VC 'did not reply' to the demands of a complete rollback of the fee hike and wanted the Yamuna Hostel (fully privatised) model to be implemented across all hostels.

PTI

Updated:December 12, 2019, 11:37 PM IST
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JNU VC Holds Meeting with Students Representatives and Teachers, No Headway
Students protest against the JNU fee hike on Monday.

New Delhi: JNU VC M Jagadesh Kumar on Thursday held a series of meetings with students and teachers to discuss ways to restore normalcy at the varsity, but not much progress could be made as neither the students appeared to soften their stand nor the administration seemed keen to accommodate their demands.

The students told the media after the meeting that the VC "did not reply" to the demands of a complete rollback of the fee hike and wanted the Yamuna Hostel (fully privatised) model to be implemented across all hostels, while "we said that students will not pay even a single paisa".

The administration also said that semester-end examination will be held as per schedules, even though students have announced a boycott of the process.

The varsity said the semester-end examinations scheduled on Thursday were conducted in several schools and centres, but students boycotted the exam.

The VC held the meetings on a day he attended his office first time since the administration block was occupied by protesting students. The Delhi High Court had directed the police on Wednesday to provide adequate security to the VC, registrar and other officials when they enter the administration block on Thursday.

Kumar held the first meeting of the day with 18 hostel presidents, followed by another with those who contested the student's union president's poll and then another with deans of all schools and chairpersons of special centres.

The VC did not reply to the demands for a complete rollback of the fee hike and the need to hold a fresh Inter-Hall Administration (IHA) meeting in a democratic manner, the hostel presidents said.

Besides the VC, three rectors, the registrar, the Dean and the Associate Deans of Students were present in the meeting, which the varsity adminstration said was "a significant step towards normalising the situation in the university through deeper dialogue with the students' leaders".

During the meeting, the VC informed the students about the discussions he had with the HRD minister, secretary and UGC chairman, and stressed the need to expeditiously restore normal academic activities, including the conduct of the semester-end exams.

The VC explained to the hostel presidents about the revised hostel manual and the issues related to the hostel utility and service charges. The discussions covered a wide range of issues including the extension of the current semester.

"It was a significant step towards normalising the situation in the university through deeper dialogue with the student leaders," the varsity administration said.

In a statement, however, the hostel presidents said the administration tried to convince them that the service and utility charges are justified, but "we did not agree".

"We said that students will not pay even a single paisa. The VC justified the IHA meeting and said that the meeting was legitimate. We did not agree to such justifications," they said in the statement.

The VC wanted the Yamuna hostel (fully privatised) model to be applied to all the hostels, they said.

"We rejected such proposals. They even justified the 10 per cent annual hike. Nothing conclusive came out from the administration side. When the hostel presidents started to ask the VC tough questions, he concluded the meeting and ran away," the statement said.

Later, the administration held a meeting with the Presidential candidates. Raghavendra Mishra (independent), Aishe Ghosh (SFI), Priyanka Bharti (Chhatra RJD), Prashant Kumar (NSUI) and Jitendra Suna (BAPSA) attended the meeting. Manish Jangid (ABVP) could not attend.

Kumar requested the student leaders to talk to their peers so that normal academic activities including examinations can be resumed without any delay.

He also explained to them that with respect to the 2019 students elections, the decision of Delhi High Court should be followed.

The JNU administration reiterated that students and their representatives are always welcome to have a dialogue and discussion. The VC appealed to the student representatives to call off the strike in the interest of thousands of students.

The third meeting was held with the deans of schools and the chairpersons of Special Centres with themain agenda being the conduct of the semester-end examinations.

"It was unanimously agreed in the meeting that the end-semester examinations must be completed as per the Academic Calendar of the university. It is expected that faculty members ofall schools and centres would conduct the examinations as per the schedule," the varsity said.

The students boycotted exams on the first day on Thursday in protest against the hike in hostel fees.

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