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Open Letter to JNU Administration and Mercenaries of Higher Education

Dear Mr. VC,

If this UGC Gazette Notification is implemented, students from poor, oppressed and marginalized sections will disappear from the university spaces forever. Your adoption of UGC Gazette Notification and tampering with JNU’s admission policy means a collective disappearance of students as a community. Mind you, Mr. Vice Chancellor, we won’t allow you to play with our lives anymore. It must be noted that the Gazette will adversely affect both teachers and students and has dangerous implications for the autonomy of JNU. Time and again, we have reiterated that the Gazette must be rejected in toto given its dangerous implications if implemented in any form. The Gazette implements a cap of 4, 6, and 8 on research supervision at PhD. by Faculty based on their position as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor respectively and a cap of 3, 2, and 1 respectively on M.Phil supervision by Professor, Associate Professor and Assistant Professor respectively. This being the case, the new admission policy will go for a massive seat-cut leading to no admission for at least a minimum of 3 years in M.Phil/Ph.D program. This is a major crackdown for the student community at large, especially the pursuing M.A. 2nd year students in terms of the seat intake for MPhil/PhD admissions. The Academic Council, Executive Council and Standing Committee approved the Fee-hike for all programs. The fee hike is a step towards privatization of higher education through implementing neo-liberal policies. The JNU administration has come out with a comprehensive list of M.Phil/PhD. seats in the upcoming admissions. The data suggests a massive seat cut departing from already socially inclusive and gender sensitive admission policies. Despite raising serious concerns at major decision making bodies like Academic Council Meeting, Executive Committee Meeting, Standing Committee Meetings, talks with Vice Chancellor and other administrative officials and through innumerable memorandums and representations that Committee of Suspended Students for Social Justice has time and again presented, the JNU administration in blatant violation of academic and democratic procedures has gone ahead and illegally implemented the UGC Gazette Notification by tampering the minutes of 142nd Academic Council meeting. Also the Committee has sent its representations to MHRD as well and members of the Committee of Suspended Students for Social Justice also met officials at MHRD and raised their concerns earlier. In various Press Meets and Press Statements the Committee of Suspended Students for Social Justice has raised serious objections to ways in which university is being run today with the sheer power of arrogance and stupidity. Students across campuses in the country have raised their serious concern, shown their anger and rejected UGC Gazette Notification through various modes of democratic right to Protests. It seems that JNU administration with the diktats of MHRD is hell-bent on producing more Rohith Vemulas in Universities.

Mr. Vice Chancellor, university is not your fiefdom, nor it is your zamindari and jagirdari where you are a landlord. It belongs to the tillers of the land, to the poor, marginalized, oppressed, other backward castes, women and minorities. Rather than universities becoming a place for free thinking, ideas and criticisms, universities are becoming graveyards of disappearances. In the name of science and brahminical ideology of merit, poor students are being socially and politically ostracized in university spaces and this is being done by MHRD appointed stooges whom they appoint as ‘Vice Chancellor’ who run universities mindlessly without even caring to understand the social composition of universities today. This Gazette has been prepared by education mafias without the application of faculty of mind.

What are we demanding? Our demands are plain, basic and simple. Revoke UGC Gazette Notification dated 5th May 2016, Reconvene Academic Council Meeting or Call an emergency Academic Council Meeting to settle issues of Social Justice, Revoke Fee Hike, Implement Nafey Committee Recommendations, Implement Minority Deprivation points, fill the appointment of OBC/SC/ST faculties, Roll back three-tier admission test based on OMRs, Punish the perpetrators of mob violence on Najeeb Ahmad, Implement reservation at PhD. level admissions, Roll back all the draconian laws on education which affects students from oppressed communities, and Revoke Suspension of all students.

Now, all the democratic forums and bodies like Academic Council, Executive Committee Meetings, Standing Committee Meetings have given a green light to draconian laws on education in the university and our protests, appeals and memorandums not only rejected, the JNU administration has criminalized our right to protests and strikes. It is a matter of grave concern that this Vice Chancellor has closed all the means of communication to students, teachers, staffs and workers alike. Students’ right to protests and strikes called by the Committee of Suspended Students for Social Justice and other student bodies are termed ‘illegal’ by the administration, students are kept under surveillance and protests are closely monitored by JNU administration through videographies, threats and intimidations. This is a clear cut violation of bodies and sheer masculine and patriarchal/khap attitude of JNU administration. Let us understand the polemics of violence. Who introduces violence in universities? Answer is, University officials themselves. First, violence is being instigated by JNU administration by sending G4S security guards to instigate students and organize scuffles with the students in all the protest demonstrations and a set of security guards videograph and record the organized scuffles and later the administration uses these video records as justification for punishments. A number of women students who come to protests have raised serious objections to intimidating tactics of harassment, surveillance and videography by top security officials of G4S. Students have been suspended and are being heavily penalized for no reasons. It must be kept in mind that perpetrators of mob violence on Najeeb which led to his disappearance are roaming freely in the campus. What kind of justice is being delivered today by JNU’s Proctor’s office? The sheer manner in which everyday inquiries are being conducted on students for raising concerns, criticisms and asserting social and gender justice has become a norm in the university where ABVP/fascist stooges have become advisors to top officials of JNU administration.

JNU and other leading public universities have already been closed for students from deprived and oppressed backgrounds. The onus of closing the public funded universities through illegal Gazettes, laws and notification goes to MHRD and the government. At one end, the far right government claims Ambedkar as the hero of constitution and social justice, at the other end it is laying killing field for Dalits, adivasis, minorities, OBCs and women, etc. The suicide of Rohith Vemula is still in our minds. How many more Rohith Vemulas? If the government, MHRD and its appointed Vice Chancellors care so much for ‘quality’ education, then why are they not increasing the number of permanent faculty members in parity with the number of students with proper constitutionally mandated reservation in higher education and hostel facilties? What use is being made of all the tall claims on counterfeit money for people? Instead, the MHRD is hell bent on destroying the life of students. Does the government ‘think’ that we are ready to become docile reserve army of labour force for Manu and the markets? The new laws on education actually insist on the fact that thinking and criticism should be out of bounds in universities and in education and students should become mass army of unpaid and underpaid labour force for further exploitation in various private institutions, academic bodies and other industries which does not even have equitable labour laws. We refuse to be docile, unthinking bodies for clinical and scientific databases under coercive, control, surveillance and other dictatorial methods by the university administration. We, students would not succumb to tampering by the so called Vice Chancellor and his claim of ‘scientific temperament,’ precisely because today science has abandoned the spirit of thinking and questioning. Unmasking and separating science from Manu and technology should be the aim of every science students today.

Finally, the suspended students who have formed the Committee of Suspended Students for Social Justice supported by students of the university have given a call for a passive resistance and complete disobedience to the UGC Gazette Notification which severely undermines equal access to education for all and calls for a collective disappearance of students from universities across the country. Mind you, Mr. ‘Vice Chancellor,’ MHRD and other so called dignitaries and mercenaries of Higher Education in the country; if this Gazette Notification is not withdrawn immediately and all the undemocratic and anti-student decisions not revoked, we will not allow the university to function normally and we would go on for a mass disobedience from now onward. The call given by the Committee of Suspended Students for Social Justice to assemble at 7 O’Clock at Administrative Block on 10th February and wage a struggle against the authoritarian administration through complete disobedience and passive resistance. We humbly appeal to students across campuses in the country to go on for civil disobediences in their own ways and support our struggle for socially inclusive idea of university and claim students’ right to universities across the country.

Committee of Suspended Students for Social Justice

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Comment (1)

  1. K SHESHU BABU

    The authorities of JNU including the vC have started to follow policies which are detrimental to student’s interests. The new rules make most oppessive castes and minorities inaccessible to good education and difficult to enrol in JNU as well as get degrees from the university. The draconian rules should be denounced

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