NLIU Bhopal students on protest over academic, attendance issues

Aditya AK November 9 2017
NLIU

Students of the National Law Institute University (NLIU) Bhopal are on indefinite protest over a number of issues at the law school.

Given the fact that the administration has failed to address the students’ grievances, they have sent letters to Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court and Chairman of the NLIU’s General Council, Justice Hemant Gupta as well as the Chairman of the UGC. These letters contain a list of grievances and demands, which are not exhaustive.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was an incident where the faculty and administration allegedly allowed a fourth-year student who failed a paper by ten marks to pass. The letter states,

“The answer had in fact been evaluated, struck out, and marked 0, showing that it had not been omitted in the initial correction…If the marks were increased for only one student after the professor knew her identity, there is a reasonable apprehension of bias involved, especially since the requests of other students failing by a few marks had been ignored.”

 

Watch video of NLIU students protesting outside the academic block:

The letter goes on to state that this is not the first instance of preferential treatment given to students with political connections; the administration has constantly turned a blind eye to protests made in this regard.

NLIU students are also up in arms against the delayed publication of exam results, the faculty’s failure to complete the syllabus in some subjects, and the questionable re-evaluation policy. They are also pressing for an extension of the library timings, and the lifting of the hostel curfew.

Another serious issue raised is the administration’s reluctance to grant medical leave to students, even in the most extreme cases. Students are required to maintain attendance of 70%, failing which they will be made to repeat a year.

The letter cites examples of students who suffered from vertebral column injuries and multiple fractures who were forced to attend classes, as they were flatly refused medical leave despite being advised so. It states,

“However, Bar Council Rules do not prohibit any such policy, since several other law universities, who also fall under its purview, have a simple and effective policy of medical leave.”

One of the students says that Director Prof SS Singh had initially agreed to hear the students out. However, he was later seen leaving the campus in his car. When he returned, he scolded the mob of protesting students and told them that no negotiations would take place. According to the students, he even threatened to take action and warned the students that their placements would be affected.

Prof Singh will finish his second term as Director in June 2018, pending re-appointment. He was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing this story.

Classes at NLIU have been put on hold indefinitely, with the students planning their future course of action. The letter concludes,

“As a law university, it is even more imperative for the University to ensure that the incidents of the nature being alleged are dealt with in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with law and not swept under the carpet. We also understand that despite several protests in the past by the student community demanding accountability of the administration and safety inside the campus, effective steps have not been taken to address these issues apart from setting up committees.”

Earlier this year, students at NUSRL, Ranchi and RMLNLU, Lucknow also went up in protest over administrative shortcomings.

Read the letter:

Open_letter_from_the_Student_Body_of_NLIU_(1)

You can follow updates from the Twitter handle @NliuProtest