Even as the third convocation held today (11 November) at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, the JNU Students Union took out a march against the hostel fee hike and dress code implemented in March this year. Students raised slogans against the vice-chancellor outside the JNU campus, too. It may be noted that every student of the JNU was, until 2018, supported by the taxpayers of the country by way of an annual subsidy of Rs 3 lakh.
A large number of CRPF and Delhi Police personnel are deployed to see to it that the student demonstrators don’t go berserk. Some of the students who are protesting had to be pushed into a police van by the security personnel. Later, the water cannon was used to disperse the students as the demonstrations intensified.
Students of JNU say since the university authority did not accept their demand for reduction in fees, they do not accept the convocation. The issue has been festering for a while.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were present at the JNU convocation today. The ceremony is still going on. Students are demonstrating outside, which the police is trying to keep in check.
What are the demands of JNU students?
On Monday, during the convocation ceremony, the JNU Students Union led fierce demonstrations on the campus. The students’ union is demanding that the decision to increase fees be withdrawn. The union, appealing to the students, had asked them to gather in large numbers and join the march. They say when students are not getting cheap education, there is no need for a convocation.
Students are demanding that no service charge be taken for hostels, nor should any dress code be implemented in hostels. Apart from this, there is a demand that the restriction of travel time in hostels should be ended.
The university had implemented a new rule to close the gates of the JNU campus, beginning 23 October. This information was given to the students through a notice from the dean of the department of international studies. In this notice, a new rule about room number 16, common rooms and main gate of SIS 1 and SIS 2 was announced.
The All India Students Association (AISA) is protesting against the new rule of the administration that the campus gates will be closed after 6 PM. The AISA said that closing the campus gates at that time would limit their freedom of movement.