Online registration for the monsoon semester at Jawaharlal Nehru University began on Friday with the university allowing students to take provisional registration in view of the prevailing pandemic. Students have been asked to pay all “relevant” backlog, including tuition fee, hostel fee and mess dues, online and submit no dues certificate after the university opens to regularise their registration.

The JNU Students’ Union and the JNU Teachers’ Association both called for the postponement of online registration while the students demanded a fee waiver for the lockdown period.

The JNUTA said it takes strong exception to the JNU administration’s functioning of the university in which formalities like registration and extracting fees through this from students are prioritised over ensuring that the institution’s responsibilities towards their education are discharged to the fullest extent. It added that the ‘provisional’ nature of the registration is a clear acknowledgement that the administration has not yet been able to create the conditions even on paper for completion of the winter semester of 2020-21, let alone a proper completion.

Phased return

The JNUTA said that it took exception to the fact that the registration requires all students to clear dues and pay the fees for the monsoon semester of 2020-21 even though access to so many of the facilities for which the fees are charged are being denied to students.

The JNUSU said that no student should be left to uncertainty as online learning has been proved exclusionary and discriminatory and students who have opted for offline/blended mode be given the opportunity to finish their semester requirements through phased return to the campus.

“Phase-wise return of students should start with prioritising stranded students and those who wish to submit their thesis/dissertation and need to access campus based facilities/resources. This will require the administration to facilitate test facility and isolation centre on campus,” the students said.

The ABVP also took out a demonstration outside the Dean of Students Welfare office demanding the relaxation of hostel fee and miscellaneous charges during the lockdown up till the reopening of campus and hostel facilities.

“Many students who had not used the mess facility during the period of lockdown have also been unjustifiably charged with inflated mess bills. Students should not be forced to pay for services that were neither utilised nor rendered to them,” the ABVP said.

The JNU VC M. Jagadesh Kumar, tweeting a photo of an empty campus road said: “Online registration process of continuing students at JNU has started today [Friday] and is picking up.” He added that the process for registration was convenient and simple, which the students can do from their place of stay. “Let us follow COVID-19 regulations in letter and spirit to keep ourselves and others safe,” he said.

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