Published: 14th December 2019
Subrahmanyam was from JNU and understood our problems, say students after MHRD secretary's transfer
Subrahmanyam was spearheading the talks between the JNU administration and the students. Meetings were scheduled at 4.30 pm on December 13 which ere postponed indefinitely
Talks between the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University have taken a back seat as the Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam was transferred to the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment on December 13. Amit Khare will replace him and look after both the higher education department and the school education department.
Subrahmanyam was spearheading the talks between the JNU administration and the students. Meetings were scheduled at 4.30 pm on December 13 but the order for Subrahmanyam's transfer came in right before that postponing the meeting inevitably. "Subrahmanyam was, according to us, doing as much as he could to find agreeable solutions to the issues at hand. being a JNU student himself he understood our issues better," said JNUSU Vice-President Saket Moon. The students are also apprehensive of the new bureaucrat taking over as they feel he would side with the government. "This transfer only makes the government's stand very clear. They will sideline anyone who is trying to speak for the students. The minister's (Ramesh Pokhriyal) reply at the parliament also shows that the government is on the administration's side on this one," said Saket.
The comment that Saket mentioned was MHRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal's answer to the question about the situation at JNU raised at the Rajya Sabha. "MHRD has made all-out efforts to resolve the problems of students of Jawaharlal Nehru University. A High Power Committee (HPC) was constituted to initiate dialogues with stakeholders and to recommend ways to restore normal functioning in the University," said Pokhriyal. But missed out on explaining what a committee formed by his ministry found out. He rather elaborated on what a committee set up by JNU could gather. "Besides, JNU has constituted a High Level Committee (HLC) to get suggestions from the students’ representatives on finding a solution on hostel issues. Accordingly, the High Level Committee recommended a 50 per cent concession to all the students and 75 per cent concession to the BPL students on estimated rates. The recommendation of the High Level Committee has been approved by the Executive Council. The revised rates are sufficiently reasonable," he added.
The MHRD had earlier released a document that said the peace talks have succeeded and the students and administration have come to an understanding that the UGC will pay for the service and utility charges for now and the room rent will be increased, which the students will be liable to pay. The memorandum also spoke about other issues. But the students immediately protested saying that they have not yet agreed to any such memorandum and that talks are still on. Subrahmanyam's transfer could delay the entire process or take a whole new turn in the next meeting.