HRD ministry, communicate with students, Jawaharlal Nehru University, JNU, Vice-Chancellor, VC, M Jagadesh Kumar, violence, attack, campus, put past behind, criticism, students, JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh
JNU V-C M Jagadesh Kumar who was allotted a house in the campus in 2016 is yet to give up his old quarter on IIT Delhi premises. File photo: PTI

HRD ministry advises JNU VC Kumar to "communicate more with students"

Human Resource Department ministry officials "advised" Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar to improve communication with students, take the faculty into confidence, and facilitate the semester registration process.

Human Resource Department (HRD) ministry officials on Wednesday (January 8) “advised” Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar to improve communication with students, take the faculty into confidence, and facilitate the semester registration process, days after the violence on the varsity campus.

The VC, who has been severely criticised by students and faculty members for not taking immediate measures when they were brutally attacked on the campus by a masked mob, told the officials that efforts were being made to facilitate semester registration for “willing” students.

Also read: JNUSU calls VC Kumar ‘coward’ and ‘mobster’ in official statement

“Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare and G C Hosur had a meeting with JNU VC at the Ministry today about the efforts being made to restore normalcy on campus. He (the VC) informed the officials about efforts being made for facilitating semester registration for willing students and a conducive environment for their academic pursuits,” a senior ministry official said.

The VC was advised to communicate more with students and take faculty members into confidence, the official added. “Communication gaps create unnecessary doubt. There should be less pressure to hurry up registration but facilitate a smooth process for all. JNU is a premier university with international repute and it should remain that way.”

After the nearly two-hour meeting, Kumar tweeted that he briefed HRD officials on the steps being taken to bring normalcy.

JNU Rector Satish Chandra Garkoti also attended the meeting.

The meeting came two days after JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar and other officials visited the HRD Ministry and submitted a detailed report on the sequence of events that triggered the violence on the university campus on Sunday. Kumar did not attend that meeting.

“The last date for registration for the winter semester without fine has been extended up to January 12. As part of this registration process about 3,300 students have since deposited fee for online registration. University administration has appealed to all the stakeholders to maintain peace in the campus and not to get provoked by any misinformation,” the VC told the officials.

Also read: JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar skips meeting with HRD ministry officials

Kumar also informed the HRD officials that the Communication and Information System (CIS), which was damaged last week allegedly by students opposing the registration process, has been repaired and is now functional. “He was assured that the funding for utility and service charges will be borne by the UGC as decided previously,” officials said.

On Tuesday, two days after masked people armed with sticks attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, Kumar urged students to “put the past behind” and return to studies.

“Our heart goes out to all the injured students. The incident (violence) is unfortunate. I would like to tell students that the JNU campus is a secure place. I urge all students to come back to the campus. Let us put the past behind,” the Vice-Chancellor had said.

Also read: JNU VC urges new beginning, rector terms violence ‘surgical strike’

At least 35 people, including JNU Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured in the violence. They were admitted to AIIMS Trauma Centre and discharged on Monday.

The Left-controlled JNUSU and the ABVP blamed each other for the violence that continued for nearly two hours. That night, the HRD Ministry sought a report immediately from the registrar.

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who was in Bhubaneswar a day after the incident, said that educational institutions cannot be allowed to become a “political adda”. He vowed “strong action” against the perpetrators of the violence at JNU.

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