Scene in front of JNU| Pic: JNUSU (File Photo)
Scene in front of JNU| Pic: JNUSU (File Photo)

JNU VC says classes to resume on January 13. Teachers say 'Not before you resign'

Jagadesh Kumar had on Friday said that the administration is making sure that students and teachers have a conducive environment to pursue their academic activities

Classes were set to resume at the Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday, January 13, but the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) has refused to resume classes until the Vice-Chancellor, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar is removed. The students too will join the teachers in a protest-cum-demonstration on campus. The JNUTA has appealed to all their colleagues to gather in front of SIS-1 and SL-1 for an assembly before they proceed to the MHRD to "submit a dossier on the VC's misdeeds".

The teachers said that there has been no clarification or conversation with the VC as of yet and that they will be on academic boycott until the VC is removed. "He has met no one. Teachers have now taken an academic boycott position until this VC is removed. We cannot have a normal situation unless those responsible for the violence of January 5 are held responsible," said Dr Ranjani Mazumdar, Professor of Cinema Studies, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. "Our colleagues have been beaten up. The VC has not bothered to check on any of the injured. We see this administration as being complicit in the violence. For all of us to feel safe, he must go," she added.

The JNUTA's General Body Meeting Resolution on the Non-Cooperation Action Plan implies that they refuse to comply with the two circulars issued on January 10 which asked teachers to be present in their offices for registration, to start classes and other relevant academic activities from January 13 and to upload time-tables for the same. "The JNUTA appeals to all colleagues to implement fully these decisions of the General Body to express our outrage at the continuation of M Jagadesh Kumar as VC even after the mob violence of January 5, in which teachers were also targeted and several of our colleagues injured. We will not become a party to his attempts to create a fiction of 'normalcy' in the University that wishes away the real climate of fear and terror he has created," said Dr DK Lobiyal, President JNUTA.

However, speaking to the media on Friday, Jagadesh Kumar had said that the administration is making sure that students and teachers have a conducive environment to pursue their academic activities. “In meeting a with the deans and chairpersons, it was decided that classes would start from January 13,” he added.

The VC had met Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare on Friday. “The JNU administration is implementing the record of discussions with MHRD issued on December 11,” he said in a statement. The VC said he also informed the ministry that JNU has written to UGC that it should meet utility and service charges concerning the fee hike. He also said that the decision to hike the hostel fees was not taken in haste. “The decision to hike hostel fees 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,” Kumar said on Sunday.

His ostensibly conciliatory comment is what really irked students and professors who have been on strike for nearly 75 days now, “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. The administration, meanwhile, announced it was extending the deadline for the semester registration process to January 15 wherein students can register without late fee. Registrar Pramod Kumar said, “There were over 4,000 registrations till Sunday evening. To facilitate more registrations, we decided to extend it.”

The students will continue the protests and the strike will go on, said JNUSU councillor and BASO member Apeksha Priyadarshini. "He apparently met some students but did not bother to meet the elected union. He did not, for once, ask about Aishe's health. And if everything is back to normal why are there police personnel posted on campus?" she asked. The students were also set to march to Delhi Police Headquarters at ITO but had to be postponed "due to unavoidable circumstances", informed members of the union.