NIT Srinagar students during the ongoing protests
Today, April 16, student representatives from National Institute of Technology, Srinagar (NITS) are in New Delhi to meet Smriti Irani, Minister for Human Resource Development. The students are meeting Irani with a new set of demands. This comes after Irani dismissed their main plea for shifting the institute campus out of the Kashmir Valley on Wednesday, April 13. However, till late evening the meeting did not take place.
PaGaLGuY spoke to Rajat Srivastav, a fourth-year student of NITS who is part of the student delegation in New Delhi to meet Irani. Rajat said, “We are discriminated against on a daily basis. To live under constant threat to our life is unbearable, so we decided to pursue this matter with the Ministry.”
The students have put forward the following demands:
– Hoisting the National Flag inside the campus:
– Creation of a student council which can act as a bridge between students and the institute administration. There is no functional student council in NITS currently. Some NITs like the one at Durgapur in West Bengal has one.
– 50 per cent of the staff- teaching as well as non-teaching should be recruited from all over the country. At present, college administration has staff who are locals.
– A permanent camp of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) stationed inside the campus to deal with any future exigencies.
Another group of students has stayed put at Jantar Mantar protesting and are trying to gather support for their cause. A third-year student, who is part of the protests, on condition of anonymity said, “The protest did receive a good response initially. However, our parents are now worried about us and want us to return home from Jantar Mantar. Some of us are going back home.”
With no written assurance coming from the Ministry, the protesting students have been left in a limbo.