Published: 02nd December 2019
Pokhriyal, MHRD officials decline meeting with JNUTA, teachers to continue protest
The JNUTA, in their memorandum to the MHRD, had appealed to the ministry to facilitate the full withdrawal of the revisions in hostel charges
The teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association were sent back empty-handed from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on Monday when the office-bearers wanted to meet the HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. The minister did not meet them, neither did any official, in spite of having prior information about their arrival. The teachers had marched to the ministry with the demand that the report of the 'high power' committee set up by the MHRD on the fee hike issue be made public.
But their march, which originated from National Archives, Janpath at 4 pm, was cut short by a strong police force near Shastri Bhawan. While almost 200 of the protesting teachers waited outside, a delegation of JNUTA office-bearers — President, Secretary, Vice-Presidents and Joint Secretary — was escorted to the ministry by the police. But it turned out to be a futile exercise as no MHRD official met the teachers.
JNUTA Secretary, Dr Surajit Mazumdar, said that this attitude from the ministry is unacceptable and the teachers will continue their protest. "The refusal to meet the delegation only suggests that the MHRD has no reply and the formation of the HPC was a diversionary tactic and not a serious effort to resolve the situation in JNU," he said. "So does the MHRD take the onus of the fee hike themselves? We want an answer and we will keep up our protest until we get it." said the professor.
The JNUTA, in their memorandum to the MHRD, had appealed to the ministry to facilitate the full withdrawal of the revisions in hostel charges and upholding of the position that any changes in the Hostel Manual should be considered only after due deliberation and discussion in statutory bodies with the full participation of all student representatives. The JNUTA would also like to convey to the MHRD its view that the Vice-Chancellor of JNU has repeatedly shown himself to be incapable of governing the University and if he doesn’t resign from his position, the JNUTA would be requesting the Honourable Visitor (The President of India) to initiate the process for his removal," said the teachers' association. "The JNUTA assures on behalf of the teachers that they will put in all the effort that is required to ensure that all the teaching and evaluation work of the semester is completed and that there is no academic loss of any kind. Urgent action by the MHRD is necessary to create the environment conducive for this and we request your personal interest in ensuring this so that the interests of students are not adversely affected in any way," they added.