A day after veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi issued a surprise call for his resignation, JNU Vice Chancellor Jagadeesh M Kumar hit back by saying the university had been "flexible to Education Ministry directives" over the hostel fee hike stand-off. He also said decisions taken during November's meeting were being implemented "in totality" and the campus was "peaceful" after last week's violence. The Vice Chancellor's statement came after a meeting with ministry officials this morning as the centre attempts to broker peace between JNU administration and the student community.
The Vice Chancellor also said the deadline for registration for the winter semester - which expired on January 5, the day around 70 to 100 masked goons barged onto the campus and went on a brutal and unchecked rampage that left 34 people injured, including JNU students union President Aishe Ghosh - would be extended.
"We have been flexible to Education Ministry directives... have told ministry that all discussions that we have on record have been followed. JNU administration is ready to cooperate and we are flexible," Jagadeesh M Kumar said today.
In a tweet posted yesterday evening Murli Manohar Joshi, a former Union HRD Minister, said it was "shocking" the Vice Chancellor had so far refused to implement a formula to resolve the stand-off between university officials and students over the fee hike.
Addressing reporters after today's meeting, Mr Kumar denied that charge.
"All decisions taken at the earlier HRD Ministry about hostel fees (are) being implemented in totality. We talked to the secretary in detail... have increased the date of registration and will be further increased if needed," he M Kumar said, adding, "JNU administration is ready to cooperate and we are flexible".
JNU officials and students have been in a months-long stand-off over the fee hike.
The students union has said the hike makes it impossible for students from economically weaker sections to attend one of India's most prestigious universities. In response Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said the hike was needed to meet increased costs.
The stand-off had led to clashes between students and Delhi Police that spilled over into the streets of the national capital and forced the centre in to a "major rollback" that halved room, utility and service fees for students from BPL (below poverty line) families.
The protesting students, led by Left-backed student groups, had refused to back down and demanded a complete rollback.
JNU administration has blamed last week's violence on students opposing the hike and has filed two FIRs against student union leader Aishe Ghosh, who was badly wounded in the attack, for vandalising computer server rooms to stop registrations.
Sections of the students and faculty had earlier demanded the Vice Chancellor step down after the clashes over the fee hike and the mob attack. However, the government has made it clear that Mr Kumar will not, as yet, be asked to resign.
With input from PTI