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Pandemic forced over 40 JNU postgrads to drop out

Pandemic forced over 40 JNU postgrads to drop out
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New Delhi: About 47 students from Jawaharlal Nehru University's (JNU) M.A. and M.Phil courses have discontinued their course from March 2020 to March 2021, according to an RTI. The information was received from the School of Social Sciences through the RTI filed via Anagha Pradeep, who is a Councillor at SSS.

"The pandemic alone starting from March 2020 to March 2021 has seen 25 M.Phil students and 22 M.A. students discontinuing their education. And as is evident from the data, more than 75 per cent of students who had discontinued their studies in the period, are from the marginalised communities of the society," Pradeep said. According to the RTI, 22 students from M.A. — 7 Scheduled Caste (SC), 4 Scheduled Tribe (SC), 7 Other Backward Class (OBC) and 8 women students – have discontinued their course from March 2020 to March 2021.

"Despite having this information, there has not been any effective step from the administration to prevent the drop-outs. Many centres currently do not have proper remedial classes in place and nor has the Administration tried to reach out and help students facing issues due to the online mode of education. To add, the 2020-21 session has not yet ended and we are receiving messages and calls from students especially First -years on how they are finding it difficult to cope with the online mode of education and are being forced to drop out of their courses," Pradeep said.

Furthermore, 25 M.Phil students — 4 Scheduled Caste (SC), 8 Scheduled Tribe (SC), 9 Other Backward Class (OBC) and 7 women students — have discontinued their course from March 2020 to March 2021.

According to a survey conducted by three scholars of the university in September 2020 to understand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on research scholars, a substantial percentage of them were expected to drop out of their research programmes during or in the aftermath of the pandemic in case the "roadblocks" they faced are not mitigated.

Speaking about this, Saket Moon, JNUSU vice-president, said, "We are trying to make the administration understand the gravity of the situation right now. No doubt that the Covid cases are rising and it is a critical situation but at the same time the situation of academics is also very dire. It has been more than one year and the academic loss is a lot and we are facing a lot of problems, which is why many students are dropping out. In M.Phil itself we can see so many students dropping out." Meanwhile, JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has said the varsity will continue the current semester in online mode and the admission process may start by the end of April.

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