The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) has sought to postpone the Entrance Exams into all educational institutions in the country, calling the ongoing admission process in certain institutes as “exclusionary”. The JNUSU has written to the union HRD Minister on Wednesday in this regard.
The JNUSU cited three examples to make their case. “However, we are extremely concerned with the fact that certain institutions are still continuing with the entrance schedule without considering the conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we would like to present the case (to) three institutions — the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Hyderabad), National Centre for Biological Sciences, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research,” it read.
They claimed that within the last seven days, all of these institutions have e-mailed selected students for admissions informing them of viva-voce for the same through video conferencing in the first half of June, this year.
The JNUSU argues that not only it is against the recommendations of the UGC which proposed the process to start in August, but they also claim the process itself is “highly exclusionary and discriminatory towards students from marginalized backgrounds”.
The JNU students body argues that the majority of students across India have been forced to return to their homes which resulted in a sizable section of students with little to no internet access, including students from Kashmir, where internet access has been restricted by government orders. They also cite the present lockdown as a roadblock for many students to access internet cafes to avail online services which are necessary for video conferencing or sending emails.
“In these circumstances, communicating important information via email, and conducting interviews through video conferencing is highly unfair, insensitive, and exclusionary,” said the JNUSU in its letter to the union HRD Minister while demanding that “all entrance and admission related procedure be postponed”.