Jawaharlal Nehru University: Academic Council Meeting; Battle ground for students

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has once again called an Academic Council meeting today following its precedent of doing so at a time when most of the students have gone home and so the democratic participation of the students would be limited and perhaps curtailed. Despite the fact that JNUSU wrote various letters to the administration regarding the schedule of the meeting, administration decided to go ahead with its own decision.

Prima facie, it appears that the meeting will be largely about opposing and rejecting the various proposals suggested by the administration with regard to the issues like – hike in the price of prospectus/admission, shifting of the dates of the JNU entrance exam from May to December and introduction of various new courses without having any concrete plan and rationale behind it.
Further the meeting is important as JNUSU will raise its voice for implementation of the recommendations on reduction of the viva voce weightage, ensuring minority deprivation point and rejecting the agendas of administration on various levels to turn the university space into a ‘jail’.
The timing of the meeting as fixed by the administration and the proposals that it sought to discuss is far from what students need and have been demanding for a very long time. Rather it suggests a systematic follow up of what the state has been demanding and compromising the ethos of what JNU claims and stands for.

In such a scenario it would be important to see whether JNUSU is able to put pressure on administration and succeeds in passing the resolutions that will meet the demands of the students preserving the legacy of JNU and its culture or whether the administration will be able to strike their own deal through compromise and bargaining bypassing the demands of the students.