JNU administration seeks end to protests; varsity met demands, claims ABVP

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) Hours after the JNU administration on Monday met a delegation of students protesting the changed admission procedure for M.Phil and Ph.D aspirants and urged them to call off their strike, a section of the students claimed that the university has agreed to their demands.

“We asked the Vice Chancellor (M. Jagadesh) to keep the viva weightage to 10 marks and rest 90 for the written test. After a little back and forth, he agreed to settle with 20 marks for viva (interview) and 80 for the written test,” the RSS-backed Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), whose members have been on a hunger-strike since January 24, said in a statement.

Asking the students to end their strikes, the university officials promised to take up their demands during the Standing Committee on Admission on Tuesday and to approach the University Grants Commission (UGC) as well with the proposal later.

Telling 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. it said it was “in constant dialogue with all stake-holders and is always open to discussion on any outstanding issues to resolve them amicably.”

ABVP’s Saurabh Sharma, who has been on a fast since January 24, said: “If our demands are sanctioned in the committee tomorrow we will call off our strike, else it will continue indefinitely and we will approach the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development).”

Sharma, a former JNU Students Union Joint Secretary, had earlier told IANS that they met the Vice Chancellor, who “assured us that our concerns will be heard”.

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

The UGC notification in contention was issued by the central body in May last year and was adopted by the JNU Academic Council on December 26 amid protests from students and teachers alike.

Under the new method, the entrance test is to be reduced to a qualifying exam and selected students are to be admitted solely on the basis of viva-voce.