End JNU face-off ASAP: MHRD to VC

MHRD has virtually issued an ultimatum to JNU VC to defuse long standing face-off between the varsity administration that led to a section of students to indulge in violence in the campus on January 5

JNU VC M Jagadesh Kumar (PTI)
JNU VC M Jagadesh Kumar (PTI)
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Rohan Agarwal/IANS

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has virtually issued an ultimatum to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar Mamidala to defuse the long standing face-off between the varsity administration that led to a section of students to indulge in violence in the campus on January 5.

The development comes amid growing perception that the VC has failed to communicate the decision of service and utility charges waiver announced by the MHRD in December last year.

The verbal warning came during a recent meeting between the JNU administration and the MHRD officials when the administration informed officials that the Service and Utility charges were actually waived-off for students and were to be paid by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

However the administration had not communicated the point to the students and media effectively which led to the face-off between a section of students and the administration.

A senior official from MHRD had reportedly told the Vice-Chancellor during the said meeting, "If you have made sure that students were to not pay the Service and Utility charges, then why was it not advertised properly?

"The move must have been promoted appropriately to make sure students knew it," highly placed sources in MHRD told IANS.

Amid an outrage by students over a proposed fee hike, the HRD Ministry had intervened last month and formed a three-member committee to resolve the stand-off.

According to the formula decided on December 11th , the utility and service charges were supposed to be borne by the UGC and not the students, who had to only pay the room rent.

The administration of the university was told to follow the formula, and was supposed to not include service and utility charges in the registration process for winter semester.

Although the charges were waived off, the administration had failed to explain the point to the students, leading to tensions on campus.

Following, Thursday afternoon's meeting, the administration issued a circular informing students and media about the waiver.

Mamidala along with the HRD ministry is under huge pressure after veteran BJP leader MM Joshi added his voice to all those asking for the VC's removal following a spate of unprecedented violence at the varsity campus and outside during protests over several issues raised by the students.

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