Academic issues: JNU Students’ Union calls strike today over slew of issues

Oct 30 2012, 02:10 IST
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SummaryThe Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union has called a university strike on Tuesday to highlight its various demands to the institute’s administration.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) has called a university strike on Tuesday to highlight its various demands to the institute’s administration.

The members of JNUSU have been on a hunger strike for the past six days pressing for their demands.

With the Academic Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, the union will also hold a demonstration on the campus, outside the venue of the meeting, at 2 pm.

One of the issues raised by JNUSU concerns the weightage given to viva-voce in the JNU entrance exams.

According to JNUSU, the findings of a committee, which was set up by the Academic Council to look into cases of discrimination against SC, ST and OBC students during the viva-voce, show that these students get less than 25 per cent marks in the viva.

While the current weightage is 30 per cent, the union said that, on the basis of a 1980 Supreme Court order, the weightage of viva-voce should not exceed 15 per cent.

With the number of Muslim students at most centres in the university being low, the students are demanding that the university allow five grace marks to Muslim students to increase their strength on the campus.

JNUSU members have also been asking for an increase in scholarships given to undergraduate and postgraduate students on merit-cum-means basis.

“We have also demanded that the duration of non-NET fellowships given by the UGC should be extended from the existing five years to include MPhil/PhD programmes,” JNUSU president Lenin Kumar said.

Urging the university to “play a proactive role in preserving the autonomy” of Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment, the union has asked the university administration to refrain from implementing the Sexual Harassment at the Work Place (Protection, Prevention and Prohibition) Bill whose provisions undermine the autonomy of the body, he said.

JNUSU has also opposed the proposal regarding “de-linking” of the integrated BA-MA programme at School of Languages and the introduction of an entrance exam for the course.

Demanding action on these issues, Lenin Kumar said, “Around 20 students are sitting on a hunger strike, which will enter its seventh day on October 30.”

To garner more students’ support, a procession was also held on Sunday.

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