Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Tuesday said the Jawaharlal Nehru University students’ demand to remove the university’s Vice Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar, was not reasonable. He claimed that the basic demands of the students regarding the increase in hostel fees had been met.
The calls for the sacking of Kumar began after the January 5 mob attack on the campus, in which 34 students and faculty members were injured. The students’ union has alleged that Kumar was behind the campus violence. Opposition parties such as the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have also demanded Kumar’s sacking.
“The situation in the university is turning normal,” the minister told PTI. “The basic demand of students about the hostel fees hike has been met. The calls for JNU VC’s removal now are not reasonable, removing anybody is not the solution.”
Students and teachers had earlier boycotted classes in protest against a proposal to hike hostel and mess fees. Pokhriyal said over 80% of students have already registered for the winter semester. “The students who want to study should not be disturbed,” he added. “If our universities have to excel in global competition, we need to rise above these issues.”
The minister also appealed to students to explain the Citizenship Amendment Act to those “misleading” the public. He claimed that it was not aimed at taking away anybody’s citizenship.
JNUSU moves Delhi High Court
Meanwhile, the JNU Students’ Union on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Inter Hostel Administration’s decision to amend the hostel manual which has provisions for an increase in fee, PTI reported. The plea was filed by the students’ union president, Aishe Ghosh, and some other office-bearers.
The petition said that the decision taken by the hostel administration was mala fide, arbitrary and illegal and will adversely affect the students. “The decisions to bring about amendments in the Hostel Manual are contrary to provisions of the JNU Act, 1966, Statutes, Ordinances and the Hostel Manual,” the plea said. “The amendments include reducing JNUSU representation in IHA, increased rates as applicable to hostel residents and also brought amendments to clauses of the Hostel Manual adversely affecting reserved category students in the University.”