Opinion

OPINION: Resist the Undeclared State of Emergency in Jamia

Jamia Millia Islamia administration has finally confessed that there is no ban on students organization activities on Jamia campus.

In a response to an RTI filed by the Forum for Students Democracy, Jamia PIO has replied that student organizations can publicly circulate their handbills and posters freely. However, the reality is, Jamia has imposed an emergency type situation on student organizations on campus, and student activists have also been regularly harassed. I appeal to all student organizations to come out boldly on campus with their political activities and resist the current undeclared state of emergency.

While on other questions pertaining to our RTI, Jamia administration has withheld information citing Sec 8 (a) of the RTI ACT, 2005, which, however, can only be cited in case of “national interests,” security etc.

Also, Jamia does not have a Grievance Redressal Cell which is mandatory according to the UGC manuals. Jamia PIO has denied to give its position on Lyngdoh recommendations citing the question as “opinion based” which does not come within meaning of “information.”

However, challenging the claim, FSD has said that the Lyngdoh recommendations are from the UGC and the Supreme Court has upheld it, so Jamia can not call it merely “opinion” otherwise it might be considered to be in contempt of court.

Jamia’s current mechanism for student representation in classes is undemocratic and based on other than democratic criteria and hence it can not be considered to be equal to a students union. And the UGC’s norms clearly say that this can not be allowed beyond three years and must be replaced with a genuine students union.

Jamia has also denied to disclose the expenditure and income of students union fund fees which is still being collected from each student every year.

Jamia has also provided with a copy of decisions of academic council which clearly advocates for students union. But Jamia does not allow it. Based on information received, the Forum for Students Democracy has called its meeting on 25 November. FSD is waiting for a response to its RTI which was sent to the UGC and to the Ministry of Human Resources, after which FSD will take a concrete action to ensure that Jamia abides by all the government laws with regard to students union, including a petition in the court.

An appeal against Jamia PIO will also be filed to the Appellate Authority for not providing the correct and complete information.

[Afroz Alam Sahil is an MPhil student at the Centre for the Study of Comparative Religions and Civilizations, JMI, and is also the Convenor for the Forum for Student Democracy (FSD), a student initiative to promote elections in university campuses of India. FSD believes that student elections inculcate the values of democracy, human rights and respect for political opposition in the young minds. He can be reached via email at: afroz.alam.sahil@gmail.com]

About Afroz Alam Sahil

Afroz Alam Sahil is an MPhil student at the Centre for the Study of Comparative Religions and Civilizations, and the Convenor at the Forum for Student Democracy (FSD), a student initiative to promote elections in university campuses of India. He can be reached via email at: afroz.alam.sahil@gmail.com

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4 comments

  1. http://www.ugc.ac.in/notices/mhrd2712.pdf
    This is the link to the mentioned committee recommendations approved by the supreme court. It demands the understanding of freedom,discipline and authority, from the students, which had been lacking in the previous students’ bodies. Hope the future has a different picture to show.

  2. Dadagiri in the campus
    I have not heard even a single student wanting to become a politician. Universities are educational institutions and not arena for nurturing potential political leaders. If students’ elections are held, half of the time, you will force the varsity to shut down bringing chaos and anarchy to the serene environment of Jamia. And student elections, if held, will help only those students who have might and who can gather dozens of robust boys at a call. This will lead to dadagiri in the campus. So, better stay away from politics and concentrate on your studies till you are a student.

  3. Dear Afroz,

    First of all I would like to congratulate you for the passion you have for your cause. For now I just seek a reply to this statement, “Jamia’s
    current mechanism for students representation in classes is undemocratic
    and based on other than democratic criteria and hence it can not be equal
    to students union.”

    Could you please throw light on this? How exactly do these elections take
    place currently as per your information?

    Regards,
    Asad Zaidi
    Founder, Jamialive.com
    B.Tech E&C ’04
    MBA (CMS) ’09

  4. Dear Afroz bahi,

    First of all accept my heartiest congratulation for your tremendous and superb work , may almighty Allah bless you with lot patience n courage to fulfill the long awaited result that we people were not blessed on the days of campus…

    May this initiative bring the best in the interest of the the nation building, building of the our beloved institution “Jamia Millia Islamia” and to the community as well…!!!!

    Ameen Ameen.

    Regards,
    Mohammad Tarique Alam
    Alumini – 2010

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