Students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University who had launched an indefinite hunger strike against the proposal to induct MBA Course in the university have reportedly called off their hunger strike. They, however, said that they will continue their protests.
The announcement was made during the National Convention of Universities organised by the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) on the campus “to point out the scandalous and destructive policies being pushed by the Central Government to destroy all public institutions”.
The course’s ‘high fee structure’ appears to be the main bone of contention. “We have been sitting on hunger strike; this is the eighth day of our strike against many issues but primarily against the management course which will be inducted from this academic session,” Sarika Chaudhary, Vice president Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) said. “The course has the highest ever fee structure that is Rs 12 lakh which is higher than any private college. How many can afford this fee for the course?” she added.
JNU Vice-Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar told ANI, “A discussion cannot happen when 500 people are standing and shouting at you. It happens in a peaceful atmosphere. Right from the beginning, they are against opening the management school in the campus. If the fee is so high then why are students applying for course from all over the country? We have just 50 seats but a large number of people who have qualified CAT exam have applied for our program.”
On the fee structure, Kumar said, “The fee structure is the same as anywhere in India whether it is IIMs or IITs. We are not charging anything abnormally. The course will be inducted from coming academic session starting from July. We have already started the engineering course and the selection process is through JEE.”
Aeijaz Ahmed, another protesting student, said, “We have been sitting here for indefinite hunger strike but neither the vice-chancellor nor anyone from JNU administration came to meet us. Instead the VC accused us of barging into his house and threatening his wife. Nothing of that sort happened. We were doing a protest which is within the ambit of our constitutional rights.”
Only days earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of JNU had alleged that the protesting students had broken into his home where his wife was alone and terrified. Later, he claimed to have forgiven them.
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