New Delhi: The HRD Ministry on Thursday ruled out the removal of JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar amid demands from students and a section of teachers saying sacking him is not the solution and the government’s focus is to address the main issues that have cropped up on campus.
Ministry officials, however, asserted that the “formula” decided during consultations with students and administration needs to be implemented.
The varsity officials including the Vice Chancellor have been called at the Ministry on Friday over students’ claims that the revised fees as decided during HRD intervention are not being implemented.
HRD Secretary Amit Khare met a delegation of representatives from JNU Students Union and Teachers Association where they put forward the demand of VC’s removal.
“Removing the VC is not the solution. The basic issue on which the whole problem has arisen needs to be addressed first. Changing X, Y or Z is not as important as resolving the issues that have come up. The basic bone of contention needs to be resolved,” Khare said.
On the issue raised by students of their union not being officially notified by the university, he said, “the ministry’s focus is on academic issues on campus and not political”.
The HRD Ministry has called the students again on Friday after the meeting with Vice Chancellor and his team.
“We will talk to the university administration that the fees changes which were decided last month are implemented. We are working on resolving the issues and restoring normalcy. It is a prestigious university and should remain that way,” Khare said.
VC Kumar, however, denied claims that the formula arrived at the ministry is being fully implemented and there is no deviation from it.
“As far as the fee issue is concerned, there has been no deviation from the formula arrived at the HRD Ministry last month. As decided, students are not being charged any services or utility fees,” Kumar told PTI.
“We have also written to UGC to release funds for covering the utility and service charges as decided,” he added.
The HRD ministry had in November formed a three-member panel to mediate between the agitating students and administration and restore normalcy in the campus.
According to the formula proposed by the ministry, the JNU administration would charge only the increased room rent and the service and utility charges were to be borne by the University Grants Commission.
In return, the students would call off their agitation and engage in dialogue with the university administration.
To compensate for the lost academic period, JNU was asked to extend the semester by two weeks. The university was also advised to notify the students’ union and withdraw police complaints against students.