Jawaharlal Nehru University Administration Asks Students To Call Off Hunger Strike

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Jawaharlal Nehru University Administration Asks Students To Call Off Hunger Strike

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday urged students to call off their hunger strike

New Delhi:  The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday urged students to call off their hunger strike against the change in admission procedure for M. Phil and Ph.D aspirants. The administration told the students they will discuss "all their concerns, including marks for written test and viva-voce, deprivation points and intake of students within the UGC guidelines" of May last year. The administration said it was "in constant dialogue with all stake-holders and is always open to discussion on any outstanding issues to resolve them amicably", reported IANS. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) on Friday urged the University Grants Commission (UGC) to revoke the changes it brought about last year on admissions to M.Phil and Ph.D courses in central universities.

The JNUSU called the proposal "discriminatory" against less-privileged students since interview will be the sole criterion for admissions under the new system, against a two-part (enterance test and interview) system earlier. Terming the UGC guidelines as 'straitjacketed', the JNUSU said adopting these will be akin to reversing decades of hard work put in ensuring level playing field for everyone.

The JNUSU has called for a "Juloos" today night and they have planned to go for an indefinite hunger strike until their demands are met regarding the latest developments in admission procedure the university has adopted after the UGC circular.

Responding to the request of JNU VC to call off hunger strike, Abdul Basith, a student activist said that JNU already has an admission system that considers different aspects of the candidate who appears for exams and viva including social and economic backgrounds through the quartile system and additional points for women etc.

'On this background, students are concerned about the move of JNU administration to depend solely on viva voce for admission and to convert written exam as an eligibility test. Reducing viva marks has been long demand of students in JNU as there were irregularities in the marks across all social categories', Abdul Basith added.

A Standing Committee on Admissions is to meet on Tuesday to discuss the students' concerns.
The new system will mean the entrance test will be reduced to a qualifying exam and selected students will be admitted solely on the basis of interview, the students say.

One student, Dileep Yadav, was hospitalized on January 23 when his condition turned critical after three days of hunger strike during which he abstained from even water.

(With inputs from IANS)

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