More than 24 hours after this ultimatum, the locks on NUSRL main gate stay, VC and faculty wait outsideMore than 24 hours after this ultimatum, the locks on NUSRL main gate stay, VC and faculty wait outside

NUSRL Ranchi’s student body is out in full force before its campus gates since yesterday, having locked out the administration and faculty members until NUSRL vice chancellor Prof BC Nirmal, and registrar in charge Dr PP Mitra, resign or are removed from their posts and the students’ other demands are met.

565 students started their day yesterday before the university gates, and ended it sleeping in tents next to the gates that they had locked down from inside. The students had vowed to only open the gates after a joint dialogue between the Ranchi high court, the state government and the NUSRL administration and student body.

Students at the gates, in well-organised protestsStudents at the gates, in well-organised protests

One student told us today that Nirmal and other faculty members, the police and media were locked-out, standing outside campus gates, but users of the campus’ Bank of India branch as well as faculty members with their residences inside campus were allowed passage through the gates.

The students’ five-point agenda for the dialogue, according to the Facebook page of the protests, which have been self-funded by students:

  1. The resignation or removal of Nirmal and Mitra
  2. An independent audit of NUSRL’s financial accounts
  3. The publication of NUSRL’s financial accounts at the beginning of every financial year. NUSRL has violated the law under its constitutional statute by omitting to publish these for the last four years
  4. Release of funds by the state government for the completion of campus construction work by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD)
  5. The constitution of a review commission for NUSRL, which is statutorily already two years overdue

VC in a tight spot, but ‘his best is simply not enough’, say students

Funds have always been a source of pain at the seven-year old Ranchi NLU; in 2012, as we had reported at the time, it had been short by close to Rs 43 crore.

Nirmal told us today that the law school has ended up defaulting on the Central Public Works Department (CPWD)’s payment by around Rs 35 crore, as the state government had only assisted the law school with a one-time grant of Rs 50 crore, whereas the campus construction costs ran up to Rs 85 crore.

Not only has the CPWD stopped work because of the default in payment, Nirmal said that NUSRL came to know from independent sources that the CPWD intended to take the law school to arbitration to recover its dues.

“We are approaching the state government for funds and now we will also approach other agencies,” said Nirmal on the administration’s plans to petition even the state bar council and various corporates for funds, as it had done once before in 2014 (even though that fundraising campaign had seen little interest from its potential donors).

A student on campus we spoke to today commented: “There have been multiple comments by the vice chancellor in various media outlets that he has done his best but despite doing his best he is unable to procure funds for the university and this is the best he can manage.”

“But his best is simply not enough. Not every problem we face is due to lack of funds. Our campus is infested with stray dogs and rodents, there are issues with the hostel timings, library timings, cleanliness and hygiene level in the mess,” added the student.

He said: “The library doesn’t have books. Per semester we pay Rs 5000 as library fee, Rs 5000 as internet fee and Rs 6000 as support charges. This grosses to a cumulative of Rs 1.5 crores for the university.

But there are barely 5-7 cupboards of books in the library. There are two [university] buses, which the students use twice a week but the faculty uses every day. The support charges are to be used for the law school’s back up [electricity] and conveyance. But the generators are not enough to support [the requirement]. During power cuts two floors remain lit, the remaining three are dark.”

Mess hygiene Mess hygiene

“So not everything is related to funds, its actually gross mismanagement. The administration lacks vision. You just need to make an application to the municipality for removing stray dogs, and they will come and take them away without any significant charges. Our campus is overgrown with weeds. There is no vision, no plan for the university. If you happen to ask the vice chancellor where does he see the university in 5 years he will just build bridges in the air,” remarked the student.

Campus hygiene Campus hygiene

Nirmal commented: “Students have closed the main door of the university and not given us minimum regard. We do not know the reason why they have gone on this path, we have tried to convince them to stop the protest but in vain. All faculty members and I myself have been present outside the gates trying to persuade them to resume normal activities.”

“I am trying that the matter be resolved peacefully in the best interests of the university. We are a new institution and we are our own problem but we have tried our best to make the stay of students comfortable on campus. We have provided all facilities,” he added.

On the Telegraph report about the alleged violation of the rights of disabled students on campus, Nirmal commented that immediate disable-friendly construction in the law school’s buildings was not possible, despite construction materials lying around on campus, because the CPWD had halted work after the payment dispute.

experts & views

Click to show 6 comments
at your own risk
(alt+shift+c)
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.
refresh Filter out low-rated comments. Show all comments. Sort chronologically
1
Like +7 Object -0 NLU Stud 11 Apr 17, 13:54  interesting
Go on, come up with more such colleges across the country. I believe 29 is the target? For shame.
Reply Report to LI
2
Like +8 Object -0 Darkseid 11 Apr 17, 14:58  interesting
"We are our own problem." Rightly said, he sure seems to be. It is quite heartening to see the students take up such a stand against inept and corrupt administration. It's not as if they are vandalising university property or offering violence to members of administration or faculty. What they are doing is fairly peaceful and legitimate. NUSRL also commands a humongous amount of fees, much higher than many other law schools. One can offer at least the basic amenities with that fee. The students are not demanding for the sky, after all!
Reply Report to LI
3
Like +7 Object -1 Disheartened 11 Apr 17, 16:04  interesting
Pic 4: If that is an image from the mess, appalled and disheartened !!
Reply Report to LI
4
Like +7 Object -0 Do or Die 11 Apr 17, 16:37  interesting
NUSRL Student Community:

Be prepared for a long-drawn battle ahead. Deep-rooted, chronic diseases will not be cured with a quick protest. The authorities are seasoned and experienced in misleading and making false promises. Don't fall into their trap.

Do not settle until actual funds are disbursed from the State, and until the VC steps down. It's a fight between you and the State. The final responsibility lies with the State, not even with the VC.

So hold the State accountable, and collectively write to the Chief Minister -- and release that letter in public.

If you lose steam now, you will only have yourselves to blame. Even public support will not be there for losers. Then you can only expect revenge from the authorities for the next 10 years.

So, do or die.
Reply Report to LI
5
Show?
Like +3 Object -0 Onx 12 Apr 17, 00:13
Wonder when will NLSIU students wake up.
Reply Report to LI
6
Show?
Like +3 Object -1 Guest 12 Apr 17, 13:43
This is a timely warning to CLAT students. If you do not make it to the leading NLUs be wary of choosing the newer ones just for the NLU tag. It may be better to look at some non-NLU options.

I urge Legally India to please give a proper analysis for the benefit of CLAT students. Thousands of young futures may be ruined because peer pressure and parents make them flock to any place with an NLU tag.
Reply Report to LI

refreshSort chronologically Filter out low-rated comments. Show all comments.