08 Aug 2016 | 2.45 PM: JNUSU conducted a protest demo at the entrance of JNU Central Library raising various demands. President Kanhaiya Kumar inaugurated the protest and said that library should be available for students with all facilities. Hundreds of students and representatives from student parties participated in the event. The protest happened before the commencement of the Library Advising Committee (LAC) meeting where decisions regarding fund allocations and other activities are supposedly undertaken.
Main demands put forth by the Union included the renewal of SCOPUS and HINE subscriptions; proper maintenance of cyber library and Helen Keller unit; appropriate extension of the library spaces and facilities to accommodate the increasing number of students.
JNUSU Vice-President Shehla Rashid Shora spoke on how the administration of late has tried to neglect student demands by not allotting funds for core activities but instead utilizing them for the installation of surveillance cameras and the purchase of new vehicles for JNU officials. She also added that the consequence of such fund allocation could have an adverse effect on the quality of research JNU students produce.
General Secretary Rama Naga asserted that the library should be maintained well and every student should be allowed to avail its facilities. Joint-Secretary Saurabh Sharma accused the Left parties for condemning the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for all issues while ignoring campus concerns. He also said that he is the only one raising students’ demands before the administration. Many students including party representatives expressed their concerns following the issues raised by the office bearers.
JNUSU office bearers said that fund cut will lead to the alienation of students of backward classes since they are not able to afford the prices of journals and articles. The union asked the Vice Chancellor who is also a member of UGC to raise JNU’s issues and demand for more funds.
Also, JNUSU called for the installation of Windows OS in cyber library since Linux is not compatible with many softwares. Regarding the Helen Keller Unit, a demand for its expansion was also made. The request for an installation of licensed softwares along with appointing two new staffs to take care of problems with systems and for helping students with scanning materials were among the other concerns raised.
The union also demanded for a permanent complaint book so that students can raise their concerns and also requested the LAC to permit the intake of personal books inside the main reading hall.
- Iqbal Vavad is an M. Phil. student at CSSS and works for the News Pool at The Informer. Shilpa is a student at Chinese centre and works for the News Pool of The Informer