Millennium Post

MHRD takes 'carrot and stick' approach to end JNU stand off

New Delhi: After JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar failed to "listen" to the "suggestions" of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for ending the ongoing standoff in the varsity, the HRD Ministry has now decided to take "carrot and stick" approach to deal with the hard-boiled attitude of the V-C.

While talking to Millennium Post, Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare informed that the JNU administration, which includes the Vice-Chancellor and his team, has been summoned on Friday. At the meeting, issues like delay in implementation of the understanding which had been developed earlier with MHRD and JNU over fee hike rollback will be discussed.

"A delegation of JNU Teachers' Association led by president DK Lobiyal along with president-elect of JNU Students' Union Aishe Ghosh and the entire team met today over different issues, including fee hike roll back and the Vice-Chancellor's lackadaisical approach in resolving the issue," he said.

"The delegation has a lot of grievances about the university not following the understanding which had been reached earlier. So we will be again calling the varsity administration tomorrow (Friday) to direct them (JNU administration) that whatever understanding had been developed earlier with MHRD should be implemented," he said, adding, "We have also told students and teachers to meet us again at 3 pm. The ministry has assured them we are open for further discussion on all other issues."

"JNU is a premier institution and we would like to ensure that it retains its position as a premier academic and research institution and wherever required, we will take steps to ensure that normalcy is restored in the varsity," Khare said, adding that any student whatever his/her affiliation is, they are our students and it's restricted to JNU only, rather with any other university in the country.

On the issue of removal of V-C, the Secretary said, "Removal of V-C is not a solution as it's not sure that the other person would prove to be better. So, first of all, we have to resolve the basic issues on which the whole problem has arisen. Changing X, Y or Z is not as important as resolving the issues."

However, Khare made it clear that there are several other "options" left with the MHRD to deal with situations like this.

"We have called varsity administration as numbers of issues have arisen because two sides are not having proper communication, otherwise the clarifications that are coming through MHRD could have been directly communicated. If varsity is not clarifying on controversial issues, we will make them clear it," he said, adding that the dates of registration would be extended as the prime objective is to have academic activities.

On recognition of the JNUSU, Khare said, "There is a legal impediment and we have called them for discussion even without recognition. As a ministry, we can call them for any dialogue."

Earlier, the JNU delegation comprising of officer-bearers of JNUSU and JNUTA demanded the removal of the vice-chancellor and rolling back of hostel fee hike.

Soon after the JNU delegation meeting with MHR officials, JNU vice-chancellor Kumar said that there had been no deviation from the "formula" arrived at by the HRD Ministry about the fee hike. In a face-saver move, Kumar said that students are not being charged any services or utility fees as decided.

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