ABVP Riots in the Capital While Police Remains Mere Observer!

Demand Punishment of the ABVP Goons and Suspension of Police Officers who Let Day-Long violence Happen!

Reclaim DU and the City from Fascist Hooliganism!

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Hundreds of students gathered to protest against disruption of a seminar in Ramjas college by ABVP goons. JNU student Umar Khalid was supposed to present a paper in the seminar. The ABVP which manufactured the crackdown in JNU last in year in February, vandalised the seminar by an open show of hooliganism. In front of police presence stones were thrown by ABVP goons at the seminar hall causing severe safety threat to the students and teachers present at the seminar. All these were done in front of Delhi Police at the spot who allowed the vandalism to happen through their intended inaction.
The next day, on 22nd February, hundreds of students gathered at Ramjas College for a peaceful protest march from Ramjas to Maurice Nagar Police station demanding action against ABVP hooliganism. What unfolded on 22nd as well was once again a public show of Delhi Police’s collusion with the ABVP in letting a reign of terror and violence spread over North Campus for several hours. ABVP goons surrounded  and attacked the students who gathered for protest inside Ramjas College. They then started attacking protesters from different colleges of Delhi outside Ramjas as well. While the large number of protesters continued demanding arrest of ABVP goons, ABVP hooligans were let free by Delhi Police to attack the protesters. Along with physical violence on Protesters, ABVP pelted sharp stones at protesters several times. Several students and teachers got severely injured due to stone pelting and violence by ABVP. Several of them were taken to the hospital.
The protesters marched to Maurice Nagar Police station and filed complaint with the police. In spite of video footages, MLC reports, written complaints, the police hasn’t registered any FIR yet. The police itself was witness to ABVP’s hooliganism the entire day. However, it continues to refuse  to initiate even the initial action and filing of FIR yet.
What is most shameful is that the Maurice Nagar Police force which did NOTHING to stop ABVP’s rioting the entire day unleashed brutal lathi charge on Protesters who were present in front of Maurice Nagar Police station demanding filling of FIR. The ABVP goons who were roaming free till then and were present near the police station colluded with the Delhi Police in beating up the students further. Several students who were at their way back from the protest were attacked by ABVP when they were alone. One AISA activist got severely injured when she was attacked by a group of ABVP activists in a bus.

It is necessary to emphasise that it is not the number or support of common students on ABVP’s side, but their collusion with state machinery such as the Delhi Police that emboldened their day long hooliganism and violence. The police’s role on 21st and 22nd February has proved beyond any shade of doubt that the Delhi Police is acting as the political organ of the BJP government in power.
*The police which regularly records all protests in the city is now clamming that they do not have any video footage of the incident. Several protesters and journalists have captured ABVP’s violence. But the police has till now denied to make these the basis of FIR, let alone their own eye witness account of the riot.

* In spite of severe head and body injuries faced by protesters no FIR against ABVP has been filed till now.
* The police which arranges several platoons of forces to arrest, detain and lathi charge protesters demanding justice in the city didn’t send extra force in DU to control the riot by ABVP.
* The police which did NOTHING to stop ABVP Hooliganism the entire day, brutally beat up students who were sitting peacefully in front of Maurice Nagar Police station demanding FIR.
Friends, last year February as well the Sangh and its student wing used the media and the police to unleash Crackdown on JNU and spread terror in the national capital. JNUSU President was beaten up at the Patiala House Court premises. But it was the immense unity and mobilisation of the students, teachers and citizens of Delhi that we reclaimed our city and universities from Fascist take over. Let us unite and fight back against the reign of terror and violence by ABVP. Let us hold hands and demand
* Immediate FIR and arrest of the ABVP goons who rioted in DU on 21st and 22nd.
* Suspension of police officers at Maurice Nagar for blatant inaction in stopping the riot and violence.
* Accountability of Delhi Police Commissioner in the entire episode. When goons took over the city’s streets and university, why wasn’t necessary force deployed to stop it? Why wasn’t the Delhi Police active in stopping the violence?

It is only through a powerful unity of the democracy and justice loving forces that we can defeat the political Nexus of the fascist goons and the police machinery. Let us unite and fight back.

13 Questions the JNU VC Must Answer NOW!!

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In India, where access to higher education is pitifully low, JNU remains one of the last few universities where students from remote areas and marginalised backgrounds can hope to be welcomed. The diverse demography of JNU’s student community is a testimony to our collective effort of making the university a truly accessible and democratic space. JNU is a lighthouse, not only for its efforts towards inclusion and affordable education. It is unique for its commitment to speak truth to power, for critical thinking, egalitarian ethos and democratic culture. The current JNU VC in one stroke seeks to destroy all that. His move to impose massive seat cuts in M. Phil/ PhD admissions in the name of UGC Notification, bypassing all statutory bodies, threatens to wipe out the academic prospects of hundreds of current and all future generations of students and virtually shutdown of JNU’s vibrant and inclusive research programs.
1. Do Doublespeak and Jumla, Threats and FIRs Befit a Vice Chancellor?

Last Sunday (12/2/17), VC was busy tweeting that the “seat cut” issue is just a ‘rumour’ spread by protesting students, while a series of Circulars from the Director of Admissions and JNU Website posts in contrast were announcing seat-cuts. Are students spreading rumors or the VC himself is fudging facts?Two days later, the VC made a fresh bid to disguise the bare fact of seat cuts: this time by coining a new jumla of ‘dynamic seats’ – i.e., implying that there will no longer be any concept of annual “fixed number” of seats or “fixed intake” for M. Phil/Ph.D. and that seats will open up for admissions only if the number of researchers under a faculty happens to be less than the UGC dictated cap of supervisor-researcher ratio!
Students are protesting peacefully, by going on indefinite fast – because the future of generations of students is at stake. 98.35% of students have rejected the seat cut move through a Referendum. Faculty members have marched in protest because the very credibility and quality of JNU’s research excellence is at stake. Refusing to meet or speak with protesting students or faculty members – who are after all the ones who must be credited with the “Best Central University” Visitor’s Award that JNU recently got – the VC has instead chosen to criminalise the protests by filing an FIR against the JNUSU leadership and student activists.

 
The VC’s claim in the FIR that students have “stopped administrative functioning” is a bare-faced lie: the truth is that when batches of students from centre after centre reached Ad Block in mass delegations, the JNU VC deserted the Admin Block and refused to address the concerns of students, as any VC worth his salt ought to do.   
Mr Jagadesh Kumar, does it really befit a VC to resort to such word-tricks to hide your policy steps threatening the future of students’ and the university – and then to use FIRs and police to punish and silence students who will bear the brunt of those policy steps?

2. Mr. VC, if you are genuinely interested in meaningful dialogue then why are you refusing to re-convene the Academic Council Meeting as urged by the students and teachers?
Don’t you agree that the university will be better served if a crucial policy matter is resolved through an accountable discussion at a statutory platform rather than through press conferences and misleading media feeds by administrative offices?

3. Why Was A Policy Affecting Students Worst, Never Discussed In Decision-Making Bodies That Have Student Representation? How Lawful And Ethical Is It Exactly, Mr. VC?
Student representatives only get to participate in Part A of Academic Council Meetings. The issues regarding the UGC Notification were never kept in any Academic Council as an agenda item in Part A. So, student representatives were deliberately deprived of any opportunity even to express an opinion or present their case in the Academic Council on a decision having such far-reaching consequences on students’ lives and careers! 

4. Why Has The JNU VC Brazenly Violated JNU’s Own Decision-Making Processes, Instead Dictatorially Announcing Sweeping Policy Changes Through Tweets, Circulars and Press Conferences? Isn’t Such Violation Unlawful and Against All Rules of Institutional Propriety?
As per JNU’s Act and Statutes, admission policies and ‘intake/offer’ of seats for admissions are to be discussed and decided through Centre-level, School Level Board of Studies and finally the Academic Council Meetings. The massive seat cuts and changes in admission policy in the name of UGC Notification’s “supervisor-researcher ratio” are being unilaterally shoved upon JNU by the VC without the deliberation of the University’s statuary bodies like the Academic Council.
The issue of the UGC Notification was placed only in the Part B of 142nd AC meeting. Teachers have testified in unison, from the very day of the AC meeting, that the UGC notification was neither “discussed” nor “approved” but bulldozed  through without AC members being given any chance to express an opinion, in Part B of 142nd AC meeting!
Can you deny, Mr VC, that “Minutes of 142nd AC- Part B”, circulated by your own administration, do not record any “discussion” or “adoption” of the specific clause 6.5 of the UGC Notification? So even as per the Administration’s own version, the “supervisor-researcher ratio” clause of UGC circular has not been “adopted” by JNU’s AC. Then, why is the JNU VC imposing this arbitrary clause through his own whimsical circulars and press conferences?

5. Does the JNU VC Have Any Right to Violate the Seats/Intake in JNU’s Admission Fixed As Part of the Implementation of  93rd Constitution Amendment?
The present number of seats in JNU has been fixed as part of the implementation of OBC reservation and the concomitant expansion of seats mandated by the 93rd amendment of the Constitution. Even the agenda of 142nd AC Meeting includes the “intake/offer” list of admissions for 2017 based on this 93rd Constitution amendment (i.e., 54% increase in intake of 2006- the base year for calculating expansion for OBC reservation), which the VC is now trying to negate. How can the VC suddenly alter the intake and that too bypassing the AC?

6. Why does Mr. VC think that the UGC suggested “supervisor-researcher ratio” can ONLY be achieved by cutting down students’ seats and admissions and not by expanding faculty strength through new recruitments?

7. Wouldn’t VC’s move to determine the number of “admission seats”/”intake” only on the basis of UGC suggested “supervisor-researcher ratio” effectively close down the existing system of annual admissions for M.Phil./Ph.D. for all batches to come? Why should the students aspiring to do research be made to suffer and why should future research avenues be curtailed?

8. Mr. VC, how valid is your arbitrary interpretation of UGC Notification and how is it more ‘binding’ than the Constitution and JNU’s own Act and statutory bodies?
Firstly, when the VC claims that the UGC gazette is “automatically binding” on JNU, he must remember that the Constitution and deliberations in the statutory bodies are also binding on JNU. Why is the UGC notification not democratically discussed in AC meetings taking into accounts the mandate of the 93rd constitutional amendment as well? At any rate, can any Notification from UGC override Laws and Acts passed through Parliament? And, why is JNU VC so keen to trample upon institutional autonomy granted by JNU’s own Act and statutes?
Secondly, even if we were to agree for a moment with VC’s logic of the “overriding” obligatory nature of the UGC notification, where does the UGC notification actually mandate that “supervisor-researcher ratio” can ONLY be achieved by seat cut in admissions and not by expanding faculty strength?
Thirdly, the “student – supervisor ratio” in UGC Notification is a broad guideline, surely “one size fits all” model may not be implemented in blanket manner ignoring the specific contexts. UGC Notification of 2009 too had a similar clause on “student – supervisor ratio”. At that time, it was seamlessly resolved through due deliberations in JNU’s statutory bodies such as the Academic Council, that too in the midst of implementing the seat expansions mandated by the 93rd Constitution amendment for OBC reservations.  Surely, the current VC, whose whole and sole agenda is to cut seats, doesn’t want to follow that route which retains university’s autonomy.

9. Isn’t VC’s move likely to strike a body blow to the scope of reservations?

After all, once the system of annual admissions, based on fixed number of seats/intake, is dismantled, the so-called ‘vacant’ seats for admissions will open up only in small numbers and not in annual bulk leading to the number of reserved seats going for a toss.

10. Why is the JNU VC determined to undermine reservations and deprivation points and prevent entry of students from marginalised backgrounds?
VC’s claim that all provisions of “social justice” are being retained in JNU is yet another jumla to cover-up the actual implications of his moves. Firstly, with the JNU VC swearing by the UGC notification which fixes a uniform 50% marks to qualify for the written exam without any relaxation for the reserved categories, the principle of mandatory “relaxations” for students from deprived backgrounds at each and every stage of elimination in the admission process (confirmed by the categorical verdict from the Delhi High Court- the Gautam Sharma Vs. JNU 19 Jan 2016) stands violated leading to the strong eventuality of reserved category seats not getting filled. Secondly, by adding the deprivation points after the viva stage, the VC is also making JNU’s unique system of deprivation points meaningless as the students from deprived backgrounds and areas may already lose out in the initial stages itself.

11. Why is the JNU VC Interpreting the UGC Notification so as to ‘de-link’ the integrated character of JNU’s M.Phil./Ph.D. program and pushing the future of even the currently admitted students in insecurity and uncertainty?
According to the VC’s new ‘formula’, continuation in Ph.D. can no longer be guaranteed by CGPA scored in M.Phil., but will be based on whether the number of students under a supervisor is below the “specified limit”! Isn’t this a recipe for effectively de-linking the integrated nature of our M. Phil/Ph.D. programme?

12. When JNU with its present “faculty-student” strength has been rated as the best Central University and when no teacher is complaining of any “overburden” and are in fact are opposing seat cut, why is the VC so keen to shut down admissions in JNU’s research programmes for several years to come?

13. Mr. VC, what after all is your vision for ensuring quality research?
Can a mechanical ‘rule of number’ ensure quality, where supervisors are allotted NOT on the basis of students’ area of choice or faculty’s area of expertise, but only on whether a faculty has fewer students than the UGC specified cap? Is that not an absurd criteria that will surely discourage students and gut out research?  Is research all about some number game or specific areas pursued by scholars and faculty members?
In sum, Mr. VC, isn’t it then obvious that your unilateral imposition of seat cut in the name of UGC Notification is driven NOT by any concern for quality, legality or institutional propriety, BUT  certainly by the perverse political agenda of the govt of the day which seeks to curtail higher education and research in general – as was seen in BJP govt.’s earlier move to withdraw Non-NET fellowship, and destabilise JNU and erode it’s autonomy in particular- as codified in saffron brigade’s stated agenda of Shut Down JNU?2

Photographs: Samim Asgor Ali

 

Read Also: Rebuff VC’s Full Blown Design to Shut Down JNU!

Rebuff VC’s Full Blown Design to Shut Down JNU!

17 Days of Indefinite Hunger Strike

17 Days: Raju (Raju had to break his strike due to serious deterioration in health on the 17th day), 8 Days: Ravi Ranjan,  Day 1: Akshay, Marie, Banshidhar

Strengthen the Ongoing Struggle – This is a Battle In Defence of Our Future, In Defence of JNU!

Join Massive Human Chain – Feb 17 Friday, 4PM

The JNU VC is shockingly announcing arbitrary decisions and fundamental changes in JNU’s admission policy and research programmes through press conferences – refusing either to discuss these in JNU’s decision-making bodies like AC, or to meet students’ and teachers’ representatives. It is now 17 days since JNUSU began an indefinite hunger strike against the arbitrary and unilateral imposition of the 2016 UGC notification by the JNU administration. For more than two months now, students and teachers have been raising crucial questions regarding this notification. Instead, the administration is threatening students with punitive action, when students worried about their future and about JNU’s research quality, are simply seeking explanations and answers.

Friends, VC’s press statements & circulars have made it abundantly clear that he is adamant on (a) continuing with his unilateral imposition of the 5 May 2016 UGC Notification and (b) admissions in and conduct of JNU’s M.Phil./Ph.D. programmes will now be dictated by the arbitrary number of ‘supervisor-student’ ratio in the UGC Notification.

JNU presently follows a system of “Annual Admissions to an integrated M.Phil./Ph.D.”, based on ‘Intake/Offer’ decided by different centres. But according to JNU VC’s interpretation of the UGC Notification, there will be no “fixed” seats in M.Phil./Ph.D. anymore – rather, seat availability will now be ‘dynamic’, based on the number of so-called “vacancies”- i.e. whether any faculty has fewer students than the UGC specified cap! 

Recall that initially, the VC had had been tweeting that protesting students are spreading “rumours” of seat cuts, and that there will be “no seat cuts” (despite several circulars and JNU website notices on ‘’seat cuts’’). Now he is trying to hide the ‘’seat cut’’ move with the jumla of dynamic seats,’ admitting in effect that he had scrapped the very concept of a fixed number of seats, and so there is no question of seat cuts! 

The dangerous implications of VC’s ‘Dynamic’ Seats’ jumla– a Cover-Up for ‘Seat Cut’:

  • It will mean Massive Seat Cuts in M.Phil./Ph.D. admissions as already notified through “negative vacancies” in JNU website (6 Feb onwards) and circulars (11/1/17 and 11/2/17) from Director of Admissions. Here is link to JNU website showing ‘negative vacancies for admission’ – http://www.jnu.ac.in/Admission/SchoolwiseProg.pdf.
  • A virtual closure to the existing system of Annual Admissions for M.Phil./Ph.D. for all batches to come.
  • A body blow to the scope for “reservations” as the so-called ‘vacant’ seats will arise only in small numbers and not in annual bulk.
  • Dismantling the “Integrated” character of JNU’s M.Phil./Ph.D. Programme, as according to VC’s new ‘formula’, continuation in Ph.D. will be will no longer be guaranteed by CGPA scored in M.Phil., but will based on whether number of students under a supervisor is below the specified limit!
  • Discouraging students and downgrading research: Supervisors to be allotted not on the basis of students’ area of choice or faculty’s area of expertise, but only on whether a faculty has fewer students than the UGC specified cap.
  • Thus, not only those who aspire to get admission in JNU for M.Phil./Ph.D, but also those who are already admitted in M.Phil./PhD. program are under a massive survival threat because of VC’s authoritarian step.

 

JNU Admission MPhil 2

JNU Admission MPhil 1

 

Why The VC’s Move of Seat Cut is Fundamentally Wrong and Motivated:

  • Firstly, the present number of seats in JNU has been fixed as part of the implementation of OBC reservation and the concomitant expansion of seats, infrastructure and faculty (during 2008-10), mandated by the 93rd amendment of the Constitution. Even the agenda of 142nd AC Meeting includes the “intake/offer” list of admissions based on this 93rd Constitution amendment (i.e., 54% increase in intake of 2006- the base year for calculating expansion for OBC reservation), which the VC is now trying to negate. So the VC’s move to tamper with JNU’s existing Intake/Seats/Admissions is plainly unlawful and cannot be accepted.

JNU Admission MPhil 3

 

  • Secondly, cutting down admissions is not the only way to ensure a certain “supervisor-researcher ratio” – the answer is to recruit adequate faculty. Why should the students be made to suffer and why should future research avenues be curtailed?
  • Thirdly, when JNU with its present “faculty-student” strength has been rated as the best Central University and when no teacher is complaining of any “overburden” and are in fact are opposing seat cut, why is the VC so keen to shut down admissions in JNU’s research programmes for several years to come?
  • Fourthly, research students cannot be allotted a supervisor just based on the fact that the supervisor is now guiding fewer than the ‘specified’ number of students! Supervisors are allotted based on their field of expertise and the student’s chosen field of research. Imposing an abstract ‘numbers’ rule will spoil JNU’s record as the best Central University because it will be a body blow to the quality of research supervision and discourage students to pursue research as per their academic interest.
  • Fifthly, VC’s claim that all provisions of social justice are being retained in JNU is also another jumla and white lie on at least two counts: (a) the VC swears by the UGC notification which fixes uniform 50% marks to qualify the written exam without any relaxation for the reserved categories and JNU has not announced the mandated “relaxations” for students from deprived backgrounds at each and every stage of elimination in the admission process, despite a categorical verdict from the Delhi High Court- the Gautam Sharma Vs. JNU (19 Jan 2016); (b) VC is making JNU’s unique system of deprivation points in fructuous, by adding it after the viva stage when the students from deprived backgrounds and areas have already lost out in the initial stages of a “multi-stage elimination” based admission process.

 

Trampling Upon Due Procedure, Undermining All Statutory Decision Making Bodies:

In no way can the JNU VC alter the current criterion of admission and continuing in M.Phil./Ph.D. and bring in ‘’supervisor-researcher’’ ratio as a precondition, and that too without being discussed or decided by the University’s statutory bodies such as the Academic Council. The VC, instead of addressing the crisis situation and questions from students and teachers, is only interested in peddling falsities to the media.

  • Firstly, the UGC Notification is an issue which directly affects the students and hence needs to be placed for discussion in Part A of the AC meeting, where students participate. But this was not done, and it was placed only in the Part B of 142nd AC meeting, where there is no student representation. And the teachers have testified in unison from the very day of the AC meeting, that UGC notification was neither “discussed” nor “approved” but bulldozed in the part B of 142nd AC meeting!
  • Secondly, on a closer scrutiny of administration’s own version of the “Agenda and Minutes of 142nd AC- Part B”, it is amply clear that the specific clause of “supervisor-researcher ratio” in the UGC Notification was kept as a separate item in the agenda under the title “to be discussed.” The “minutes of 142nd AC- Part B”, circulated by the administration, do not record any “discussion” or “adoption” of this specific clause of the UGC Notification. When, even as per administration’s own version, the “supervisor-researcher ratio” clause of UGC circular has not been “adopted” by JNU’s  AC, what is prompting the VC to interpret and impose it through arbitrary circulars and press conferences? 

Below are relevant images of Pg 10 and 28 of the “Minutes of the Part B of 142nd AC meeting”. The minutes in Pg 10, point 6, claim that UGC Notification was adopted as reflected in the relevant changes in JNU’s M.Phil./Ph.D. Ordinance attached in Annexure II and Annexure III. The elaboration in the Annexures II & III of the Minutes show that 2 clauses of UGC Notification – Clause 6.5 related to Supervisor-researcher ratio and 13.1 & 13.2 related to award of degree – were listed separately as “items to be discussed” and that there is NO recording against these items as “discussed”/”resolved”/”adopted” for changes in JNU’s M.Phil./Ph.D. ordinance, as indeed no discussion took place at all on these and so there is no question of any adoption of these clauses of UGC Notification as is being claimed by the VC!

JNU Admission MPhil 4

JNU Admission MPhil 5

  • Thirdly, as per JNU’s Act and Statutes, admission policies and ‘intake/offer’ of seats of admissions are to be discussed and decided through Centre-level, School Level Board of Studies and finally the Academic Council Meetings. Let us emphaise that the even agenda of 142nd AC Meeting includes the “intake/offer” list of admissions proposed by different centres, based on this 93rd Constitution amendment. This is what VC is trying to suppress and deny. Indeed, the VC seeks to replace all due forum and process through his incessant arbitrary circulars and Press Conferences, where he is both announcing and interpreting crucial policies as per his whims and fancy. The sanctity of all the forums and statutory decision making bodies of JNU like the AC are being trampled upon and a dangerous precedent is being for the entire institution and our collective future. VC cannot be allowed to act like a tyrant of feudal ages, as JNU is not his fiefdom nor are students and teachers his subjects. So the 142nd AC needs to reconvened to uphold the sanctity of JNU’s mandated decision making process.

With the VC’s grossly arbitrary and anti-student actions threatening to wipe out the admission prospects for the coming session and possibly several coming years in M.Phil./Ph.D., and also endanger the future for the existing students in M.Phil./Ph.D., we have no other means but to fight back to save our future and also the future of JNU.

 JNUSU appeals to the student community to join and strengthen the ongoing struggle until the VC reconvenes the 142nd AC meeting and arbitrary impositions of the UGC notification is revoked.

This is a JNUSU Release