JNU protest 2019: After exam boycott, uncertainty over next semester registration

Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), who have been protesting against a hike in hostel fees for two months, are now concerned about the registrations for the upcoming semester, as many boycotted their end-semester examinations. Members of the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) said registrations generally begin on January 1, but are still to receive any directions on the same for the administration.

Since October 28 this year, students of JNU have been protesting against a new hostel manual which introduced a substantial fee hike that students argued would push poor and marginalised students out of the varsity. As part of their agitation, schools and centres across the university had decided to boycott the examinations, which began December 12.

Taking account of the “persistent strike” and “physical prevention of holding examinations by agitating students,’’ the JNU administration on December 19 announced that an alternative mode of examination had become “imperative.” Varsity officials told HT they had decided to send question papers to students either over email or via WhatsApp, or hand over the hard copy so they could submit answer scripts.

JNU registrar Pramod Kumar on Saturday said they were yet to collect data on how many had appeared for their papers. “Due process will be followed for registration,which are slated to begin on time. We are yet to collect and compile data on how many appeared for the examinations and we will take the decision on registrations on the basis of that.”

Since there is no clarity on the road ahead, the campus has been cloaked in uncertainty. Farhat Salim, councillor of the Centre for Law and Governance, said, “The onus of resolving the deadlock is on the administration, which hasn’t cleared anything on the registration. So there is anxiety among postgraduate and undergraduate students who haven’t appeared for their papers. PhD scholars across campus have decided that they too will boycott their registration in solidarity.”

Kaifi Ansari, a postgraduate student, said that though there was anxiety, students are still worried about the implications of the fee hike, if it were to stand.

Meanwhile, JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh said the union was in talks to move court over the notices received by around 300 students over a series of issues during the protest.

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