Published: 01st December 2020
JNU researchers push for extension in deadline because of COVID regulations. Will they get it?
The JNUTA stressed upon the fact that the students have had no access to the labs and libraries and it will be extremely challenging for them to honour the deadline
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA) on December 1 appealed to the varsity administration to extend the deadlines of all final semester MPhil and PhD students owing to the pandemic. They have requested the administration to "grant an overall extension to all such persons till such time that conditions for an amicable submission are created, which includes access to libraries and laboratories both within and outside the university for all such scholars". This statement comes right after an open letter from the researchers demanding that the JNUTA and the JNU Students' Union stand in their corner.
The JNUTA stressed upon the fact that the students have had no access to the labs and libraries and it will be extremely challenging for them to honour the pre-COVID deadline. "So far, the laboratories in the university have only been opened to a few students who are on campus or are day-scholars. A vast majority of research scholars live in hostels and have not been allowed, thus far, by the administration to return to campus. No libraries in the university and most libraries outside have also either been closed or not been accessible to students. Students in many disciplines need to do fieldwork too, an activity that has just not been possible during the pandemic," said the JNUTA.
The letter from the researchers and postgraduate students had a total of four issues — lack of access to libraries, archives, lack of access for physically-challenged students and lack of access to labs — which they wanted the JNUTA and the JNUSU to take up. "We have fought enough for JNU during the fee hike movement. Now, we request the student community, JNUSU and JNUTA to stand with the research scholars," said the students. "If anything happens to any of us, will the JNUTA or the JNUSU take responsibility?" they asked
In the Board of Studies meeting of the School of Social Sciences held on November 17, the Dean had told the members that the university had written to the UGC about giving an extension, said the statement but there has been no follow up on that. "JNUTA demands that all such communication be made known to students and teachers and be sent to all the Centres and Schools. JNUTA would also like to use this opportunity to inform the administration that giving an extension to the research scholars is well within the power of statutory bodies of the university and does not require going to UGC," it added. "JNUTA demands that the Vice-Chancellor should immediately take steps to formalise this extension by getting it ratified through the appropriate statutory bodies of the university," they added.