Published: 21st July 2020
Why is the JNU VC lying, asks JNUSU ahead of intense Twitter campaign against online exams
The Students' Union alleged that the Vice-Chancellor has been lying about the status of online examinations and online classes
On July 16, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, the Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University had put out a series of tweets about a number of schools in the university successfully completing its exams online. He also said that a few of them have completed the portions online and some of them will begin their exams using the online mode soon. However, the university's students' union does not agree.
Aishe Ghosh, the JNUSU President tells us that a lot of students from the said schools haven't written their exams or have attended online classes. "Why is the Vice-Chancellor lying blatantly?" she asks. On Tuesday, the JNUSU is taking it to twitter to start an online campaign with #JNUVCLIES to 'explain the real situation'. "Tweet and explain the difficulties that students are going through. Tell him about the lack of fellowships, internet access and non-feasibility of online examinations," reads a poster put out by the union.
The JNUSU had previously submitted a memorandum to the HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' explaining how a large number of students do not have the access to technology and infrastructure to attend classes online. They had also sought him to set up a mental health helpline for the students during the pandemic. "The minister had agreed to this, but no action has been taken until now," says Aishe. "Every day, we get calls from stressed students who are on the verge on having mental breakdowns. They live in confined spaces with no scope of social distancing. Their parents go to the field to work and can contract the virus anytime. They live in fear all the time. It is not possible or fair to force them to attend online classes and write online exams," says Aishe.
"The Vice-Chancellor is pretending that no issues are happening. But the actual story is different. If the VC is trying to start an online semester, we'll reject it outright," she says. "The students are also not receiving their fellowships. But is the VC bothered about this?" she asks.
Recently, the director of IIT Bombay had proposed the idea of an online semester and had asked its alumni to help poor students with the right infrastructure. Will the JNUSU suggest something similar, we sought. Aishe says, "We don't know if the alumni will be open to this idea. Also, infrastructure is just a part of it. We are seeking a holistic change," she says. Aishe adds that the university can follow the footsteps of the CBSE and the ICSE that cancelled a few exams and give the students the average marks scored. "If the boards can do it, what's stopping JNU?" she asks.