Jamia Millia Islamia CUET protest: After show-cause notices, a student's result held back?

After a protest demanding the implementation of CUET for admission, four students were served show-cause notices
March 14 protest for CUET implementation at Jamia Millia Islamia | (Pic: Ambuj Mishra)
March 14 protest for CUET implementation at Jamia Millia Islamia | (Pic: Ambuj Mishra)

Students from Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), especially the members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), are irked with the university administration. After a protest demanding the implementation of CUET for admission to courses offered at JMI, four students were served show-cause notices. And now, one of them claims that his results were held back.

In February 2023, JMI declared that it would not conduct admissions through the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) due to insufficient time to revise university regulations, as mentioned in a report by PTI. Since this notice, ABVP members claim that they have been demanding for the common entrance test to be introduced.

They also brought out a press release, which urged JMI and AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) to introduce CUET. "But the administrations were not ready to accept the idea," claimed Ambuj Mishra, a member of ABVP Delhi. "Then the University Grants Commission (UGC) intervened," he added.

According to the PTI report, UGC urged JMI to introduce CUET for all its courses from the academic year 2023-24. It may be noted that JMI had declined to consider CUET for its courses in the academic year 2022-23 as well.

In its reply to the UGC, the university stated that it would incorporate CUET from the next academic year, which is 2024-25. It, however, implemented the entrance test for 20 of its programmes, consisting of 15 UG and five PG courses. "But the university has more than 100 programmes and CUET should be accepted for each one," Ambuj stresses.

Thus, the students held a protest for almost 12 hours, on March 14, from 12 noon to 11.30 pm, demanding the implementation of CUET for the academic year 2023-24. 

The proctor visits
On March 14 evening, the Proctor, Professor Atiq Ur Rehman, visited the protesting students. He accepted their memorandum and assured them that a discussion with the VC would be held regarding CUET implementation, says Ambuj. The very next day, however, four students, identified as having participated in the protest, were served show-cause notices from the Proctor's office.

Ambuj states that the students are upset with two facts: First is the non-consideration of CUET, due to which many students from marginalised backgrounds would lose out on admission opportunities. And second is the university administration's attitude. "By serving the show-cause notices, JMI has tried to put a stop to our democratic right of protesting," he says.

Students who were served notices
Ankita Manchanda (PhD in Chemistry), Shubham Rai (PhD in Peace and Conflict Resolution), Anant Rigu (BCom) and Md Nasir Khursheed (BTech) are the four students who have been issued the show-cause notice. Nasir is the ABVP Secretary of the JMI unit and was the one who had submitted the memorandum on March 14.

After being served the notice, he claims that his fifth-semester results were held back. "The results were displayed on the notice board on March 16. I am positive that my name was on it. But the notice was removed on March 16 and was once more posted on March 17. My name was missing from the new notice," Nasir says.

Worried, he claims that he has been trying to contact his HoDs and other concerned administration members, but hasn't been allowed to meet anyone. He also allaged that the results of the other students who were given the show-cause notices have not been held back.

The notice, shared with EdexLive, mentions that the students have "committed acts of gross indiscipline and misconduct". The students are, "therefore, required to explain your position by 22.03.2023 till 5.00 pm as to why action should not be taken against you, failing which ex-parte action will follow."

The varsity has observed that there were outsiders present during the protest and alleged that the students misbehaved with the office and security staff. However, Ambuj refutes the second claim. ABVP has issued a press release condemning the varsity's action, calling it a "witch hunt".

EdexLive tried to contact Nasir's HoDs, as well as the administration officials for a comment, but received no response. This report will be updated as and when a contact is established.

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