The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Thursday trashed as “ridiculous” the agitating students’ offer to “allow” the authorities to resume work in the administrative block for two days with a limited staff. The agitators earlier sent a pamphlet to the university authorities that made the offer for use of the administrative block which the students have “seized”. Following this, the university said in a statement: “The student agitation has moved from a highly objectionable one to a ridiculous one.” “The blockaders …, under the leadership of ‘Committee of Suspended Students’, have expressed their willingness… to selectively allow some employees…,” the statement said. It also denounced the students — who have the office block under a forced lockdown since February 9 — for giving out “false” impression that the building was open and the Vice Chancellor was free to come there.
“This laughable pamphlet is condemnable also because they have been spreading lies that the administration building is open, but the VC and other officers are not coming for work,” it said. Others falsely claimed that employees were allowed to enter the building, the university said. The members of the JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) were also pulled up by the varsity for the same reason. The JNU alleged that the teachers’ association has failed to ask even once the students to end their siege and come to the table for discussion.
The administration said that asking the Vice Chancellor to come in the midst of agitating students to address their issues — like the protestors were demanding — would be akin to his “public trial”. “The disorderly and disruptive students politics has already caused enormous damage to the prestige of the university and genuine interests of students, teachers and other employees…,” it said, adding that it wished the students “come to their senses” and end the siege.
The blockade came after the JNU adopted a University Grants Commission (UGC) notification that sought to put an upper cap on the number of M. Phil. and Ph.D. students whom a faculty member could guide. The students have alleged that the implementation of the guideline would result in a massive seat-cut at higher learning. They also protested the unilateral adoption of the UGC notice by the Vice-Chancellor. The students feel that the Academic Council members should have been consulted on it.