Guidelines flouted

Print edition : March 18, 2016

The guidelines on entitlements to students issued by the University Grant’s Commission (UGC), the statutory body that oversees the administration of Central universities, on April 23, 2013, (vide D.O. number F.14-31/2011 (CPP-II)), states: “As democratic citizens, the students are entitled to freedom of thought and expression within their institution. The college/University must allow space for free exchange of ideas and public debate so as to foster a culture of critical reasoning and questioning. College/University authorities must not impose unreasonable, partisan or arbitrary restrictions on organising seminars, lectures, and debates that do not otherwise violate any law.”

The permission granted by Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor V. Jagadeesh Kumar to allow the police inside the campus to search for the students charged with sedition and his undemocratic handling of the inquiry into the February 9 incidents are seen by the academic community as a gross violation of the guidelines. The university inquiry committee found that eight students had raised “unconstitutional slogans” and has recommended academic suspension for them.

The JNU Teachers’ Association has demanded the scrapping of the committee’s findings and has asked the Vice-Chancellor to conduct a fresh internal probe acceptable to all.

Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta