Now, attendance clause in JNU scholarship forms
The Delhi high court, while hearing a contempt petition filed by some JNU students on August 9, had asked the varsity to avoid enforcing the rule in any form.
Days after the Delhi high court directed the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) not to enforce the 75% mandatory attendance rule till the matter is sub judice, the varsity administration added a similar clause in fellowship and scholarship forms distributed recently among students.
As per the new clause, only those students who meet the minimum attendance criterion of 75% will be considered for fellowships and scholarships.
The court, while hearing a contempt petition filed by some JNU students on August 9, had asked the varsity to avoid enforcing the rule in any form.
The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) had taken up the matter with its legal team.
“The administration has been trying to impose the attendance rule through different means like this. Earlier, at the time of registration, they had asked students to sign an undertaking saying they will abide by this rule. Afterwards, we had filed a contempt of court petition against the administration. We are planning to raise the issue in the court,” JNUSU vice-president Simone Zoya Khan said.
The administration, however, said the clause has always been there in the forms.
“We have not added it for the first time. It has always been there. We did not remove it from the forms thinking what if the court’s decision comes in favour of the administration. We are not going to take any coercive action against students,” JNU registrar Pramod Kumar said.
The JNUSU, however, said it was wrong of the administration to presume the verdict will come in their favour.
“The mandatory attendance was rejected by around 4,000 students during a referendum. Even a majority of the teachers are against it. How can the court give a decision against the students’ will? We have complete trust in the judiciary,” Khan said.
The 75% mandatory attendance rule has been a bone of contention between JNU administration and the students ever since its announcement in December last year.
The campus witnessed a spate of protests against varsity officials. A group of students had even moved the Delhi high court.
While JNU claimed that the decision was taken during an academic council meeting held on December 1, 2017, JNUSU and a section of academic
council members said no such issue was passed during the meeting.