Jawaharlal Nehru University authorities on Tuesday fined four office-bearers of the varsity’s students union Rs 10,000 each for protesting against the compulsory attendance rule.
The university management had issued a circular in December 2017, saying it was planning to make 75% attendance for all courses compulsory and was forming a panel to frame the guidelines. Students and teachers had then called it an “unnecessary and arbitrary” move.
The notice sent to the office-bearers on Tuesday said that the students’ month-long protest violated a Delhi High Court order banning agitations near the administrative block and the university’s rules and regulations. The notice also directed the four students to pay the Rs 10,000 fine within 10 days or face further action.
One of the protesting student-activists told Scroll.in that they will wait till Wednesday evening for the administration to organise an academic council meeting to repeal the attendance order.
Meanwhile, many teachers taught students outside classrooms on Tuesday. “Teachers are taking classes in sun light without any four walls,” a student wrote on Facebook. “Because knowledge can’t be acquired with force. Therefore, both teachers and students demand freedom to exchange knowledge.”
On Sunday, JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar had said in a circular that some students have continued the protest despite discussions between the administration and JNU Students Union representatives.
Kumar claimed that protesting students have been preventing their colleagues from attending classes by calling for strikes, blocking the entrance to the school buildings, staging marches, holding meetings during class hours and blocking the main road to the university. The registrar said this had caused “enormous hardship for the elderly, sick, school children and the visitors to the campus”.