On Friday afternoon, students and teachers of JNU organized a march from JNU to Parliament asking some sharp questions from the government. The two main issues related to this march were – first, the autonomy of 60 universities across the country by the UGC and secondly, the administration and Delhi Police’s alleged sexual harassment of eight girls on Professor Atul Johri of School of Life Sciences. Role.
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) and Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) jointly organized this March. The march of students and teachers started from JNU campus at around 3.30 pm. About two thousand students and teachers participated in it. The march was moving along the road peacefully.
With the slogans and demands, the convoy of students started moving towards Parliament in the heavy presence of Delhi Police. To continue the march without affecting the pilgrimage, a group of teachers was disciplining the protesters on one side of the road. Around INA Market (Sarojini Nagar), protesters were stopped by Delhi Police by putting barricades. On this, the students got very excited about the police. It seems that the police had already planned to use violent force on the march as the police were equipped with water canon and tear gas etc. Students lathi-charged here, in which dozens of students were injured. Some students were also taken into custody by the police. The students taken into custody were released late in the evening.
The journalists and photo journalists who were covering the incident during the lathicharge also did not leave the police. They were also beaten.
Meaning of ‘autonomous institution’
On Tuesday, the UGC has announced autonomy to 60 universities and colleges across the country. It consists of 52 universities and 8 colleges. There are 5 central, 21 state, 24 deemed and 2 private universities.
JNUTA Secretary Dr. Sudhir Suther said in a conversation with Newslaundry, “Government universities mean that education is easily available to all. The granting of autonomy by the UGC will have a major impact on the reservation policy of universities. ”
He further said that in fact, this autonomy will not give the universities the chancellors to give them the arbitrary powers to run the institute.
The whole matter of giving autonomy started from June last year. In June 2017, the Prime Minister’s Office formed a committee to reform higher education. It was headed by Arvind Panagariya, former Deputy Chairman of NITI Aayog. This panel gave its report in August 2017. Based on this report, UGC has given autonomy to 60 universities.
Within this, universities are divided into three categories. This division is based on the score of NAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). JNU, HCU, Nalsar etc. with a score of 3.51 or more have been placed in the first category.
When this reporter tried to ask the students whether JNU was not an autonomous institution till now? In response to this, Jayant, MPhil student said, “The autonomous structure of JNU has been so beautiful that each department has its own separate policy here. All departments had the autonomy to design the course in their own way, to call the guest faculty, to appoint the chairperson. But now the new Vice Chancellor is also taking decisions by bypassing the Academic Council. ”
On the other hand, the HRD minister of the government, Prakash Javadekar, has declared the UGC’s decision as historic.
“Arrest Atul Johri”
One of the main reasons for the protesting students’ march was the poor attitude of the administration and Delhi Police towards Professor Atul Johri of the School of Social Science. Prof. Johri accused eight girls of sexual harassment. The Delhi Police had registered an FIR after the students demonstrated in the case. Pro. The jeweler was also arrested by the police but he was released on bail in 20 minutes. Since the Delhi Police did not demand a remand for them, the police also had to face the anger of the students.
JNU had an organization called GSCash (Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment) to deal with sexual harassment cases. After the change in the rules of the UGC last year, the ICC (Internal Compliance Committee) was formed in JNU instead of GScash.
“There is a fundamental difference between GSCash and ICC. All members of GSCash were elected through elections. While members of the ICC will be appointed. The administration has the right to appoint, ”said PhD student Seamon.
A separate student told on the condition of anonymity, “Atul Johri still remains due to his proximity to VC. There are many members in the ICC who are accused of sexual harassment.
Lathicharge, water canon and demonstration
A woman professor of JNU (who is also a member of JNUTA) said that she had sought permission to march till Parliament. But the ongoing peace procession was stopped by Delhi Police near INA Market (Sarojini Nagar).
There was a debate between the students and the police involved in the march. The crowd of students pushed the barricades. Delhi Police used water canon to disperse the crowd of students. When the students did not even care for him, the Delhi Police lathi-charged the students. Many students and students were injured in this. About one and a half dozen protesters were detained by the police. He was kept in the Defense Colony police station for four hours.
The girls accused the Delhi Police that male soldiers mistreated women. A woman journalist was also injured in lathicharge. Some other journalists also accused him of breaking the camera.
After lathicharge, the protesters continued their protest at Sanjay Park in Sarojini Nagar. Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha of RJD, rebel MP Ali Anwar of JDU and Brinda Karat of CPM reached there in support of the students.
While the students were protesting, security personnel on campus tried to break the locks on the departments. There was a debate of girl students there with security personnel.