New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar on Sunday said that the decision to raise hostel fees was not taken in haste and a committee was formed for the purpose in 2016.
“The decision of hostel fee hike was not taken in a hurry. The committee for this purpose was formed in 2016 and I am sure several discussions took place at the warden level,” said Kumar. “Whatever happened has happened in the past, let us leave that. We should focus on how to make the university function properly and look for a positive future,” he added.
JNU Rector Chintamani Mahapatra acknowledged that the students have a right to protest but insisted that it should be done in a democratic way under the rules and regulations.
“We know students have the right to protest as we have a democracy but protests should be done without breaking the law. They have the right to boycott but they have no right to stop faculty from entering into various places at the campus,” said Mahapatra.
On being asked by a teacher on students fearing to reside in the hostels, Mahapatra said: “You can come up with the suggestions that how we can encourage students to stay in the hostels. There is a sense of insecurity surely. But I strongly feel that soul searching should be done by faculties.”
While speaking to ANI, Kumar expressed hope that the new semester starting from January 13 would see huge participation from the students and faculty members.
“We routinely hold meetings with the deans and faculty members. We had a long meeting with them. We have explained to them the steps taken to bring normalcy to the university. From tomorrow the classes will start,” he said.
“All the teachers expressed the difficulties caused to them in the last few days as they were stopped from going into the schools. All laboratory experiments have stopped. The teachers are happy that the classes are going to start. We are positively looking forward towards starting the new semester,” he added.
VC Jagadesh Kumar categorically stated that appropriate action will be taken against the outsiders staying in the hostels.
“There is a concern that there could be outsiders in the hostels. The Dean of the students has requested all the wardens to identify any such outsider so that appropriate action is taken,” he said.
“The students have behaved in a militant way at times which is wholly unacceptable. They have a right to protest but that should be done in a civilised way. We have considered the students’ feedback and my appeal is for them to come back and take part in academic activities in the university,” he added.
On January 5, more than 30 students of the university, including JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, were injured and taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre after a masked mob entered the varsity and attacked them and professors with sticks and rods.