By Umar Mushtaq
Srinagar: National Institute of Technology (NIT) authorities have conveyed to the agitating outstation students that their demand to shift the institute from Srinagar cannot be fulfilled. The students have been offered relaxation in examinations, help in travel to their homes, waiver on restrictions on festivities and entry timing into hostels.
The NIT issued a series of notifications on Saturday following a meeting of various groups of students with a three-member team headed by Chairman of Board of Governors and comprising two HRD ministry officials who are camping in Srinagar. The students also held meeting with deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh.
The class work continued in the campus even as the non-local students continued their boycott in protest against police action against them three days ago.
The strife-ridden NIT is in headlines since March 31 when clashes erupted between local and outstation students on Indian cricket team’s defeat in WT20 cricket semi-final. The clash led to temporary closure of the institute as outstation students staged demonstrations and clashed with local police. The police have filed two separate FIRs against protesting students.
According to the notification, the management announced that the NIT would not be shifted from Srinagar. “There was a demand that NIT should be shifted from Srinagar. This cannot be agreed to as per Ministry of HRD,” the notice reads.
The NIT management has withdrawn restrictions on the movement of girl students to and from their hostels. The girls had complained that their movement to and from hostels has been restricted through a pass system.
“It has been decided that pass system be immediately removed. The timing of moving to and from hostels should also be relaxed,” the notice reads. A detailed notice on the movement management was issued separately.
The authorities also withdrew the bar on religious festivities at the campus. Earlier, students were asked to seek permission for celebrating any festival inside the campus.
“Henceforth, there will not be any need for the students to obtain permission from the administration,” the notification said.
There are many issues which have been raised, related to mess, cleanliness, geyser, inadequately equipped labs, classes, ‘rude’ behaviour of staff and discrimination, the notice said.
“The same will be placed in the in the meeting of the Board of Governors, which is scheduled on April 11, 2016 and a time-bound action will be taken under supervision of the Board. Ministry HRD will also monitor the action taken report,” the notification said, welcoming students to address the Board in the said meeting. They can even write anonymous complaints.
The authorities have also promised to facilitate those students who want to leave for home. “NIT will help their transit. Another Minor Exam will be held in lieu of the Minor scheduled from 11-14 April for such students at a convenient time,” the notice reads.
The notice said that several students have apprehensions that the current turmoil would affect their grades. “A student Grievance Redressal System has already been notified which will also address such issues on priority,” the notice said.
Meanwhile, the non-local students are not willing to write examinations starting Monday. “We will not sit in exams until our demands are fulfilled,” said Anurag, a non-local student of 2nd year who alleged that they are not allowed to venture out of the campus by paramilitary troopers.