Students' sit-in at JNU enters Day 3: Library opening a win but will continue protest till campus is reopened, say students

The students went into the library on September 7 to protest and demand reopening of the Dr BR Ambedkar Central Library
Jawaharlal Nehru University (Pic: PTI)
Jawaharlal Nehru University (Pic: PTI)

The students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University have been protesting in front of the Dean of Students' office since September 6. While they have had a minor win with the Librarian confirming that the Central Library will be opened up soon after a few infrastructural fixes, the students, led by the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU), have decided to continue the protest till the campus is reopened and the MA students are allowed to come back.

The students went into the library on September 7 to protest and demand reopening of the Dr BR Ambedkar Central Library. "We spoke to the Librarian about reopening the library and he assured us that the Central Library will be opened and that students will be given access to all the facilities as soon as they fix a few ACs that aren't working and tend to some of the infrastructural issues. The departmental libraries will be opened gradually," said Saket Moon, Vice-President, JNUSU.
The MA students who were admitted in 2020 had said that they felt discriminated against and their dream of equality has been destroyed by the online mode of teaching that they have experienced so far. "The students of the 2020 batch, especially those in MA, need an assurance that they will be called to the campus and that an initiative towards hostel allotment and offline classes will be taken by the administration. For the past many months now, these promises have only been broken, and the sit-in at the DOS is going to continue until the authorities concede to our demands through a written circular. It's high time the authorities accepted that online mode of education is not sustainable and is further marginalising and excluding students from accessing education across the country," said Apeksha Priyadarshini, a JNUSU Councillor and member of the Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students' Organisation (BASO).
An order from the Deputy Registrar's office has called back "all final year PhD research scholars, including 9B students (both hostellers and day-scholars) who are required to submit their PhD theses on or before December 31". All PwD (Persons with Disabilities) students of the PhD program are allowed to enter the campus as well. But the MA students of JNU want to come back as well and want hostels too.
The MA students of the 2020-22 batch, said that it's been nine months since they joined their programmes and have been pleading for "equality of opportunity, access and education". "We have repeatedly felt excluded from the imagination of social justice that JNU is synonymous with, as we haven't received education and intellectual guidance on an equal footing throughout these months. Our degrees are about to end and we are still requesting basic educational and infrastructural amenities. For most of us the dream of studying in JNU has been destroyed," said the students.

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