"Bacche hai hum, kaidi nahi;
College hai ye, jail nahi!"
With this slogan, the students of National Law Institute University, Bhopal, have taken to the streets to protest against the college administration "as a result of outrage over the lack of transparency and accountability of the authorities as well as the unchecked maladministration".
A release issued by the students refers to a recent case when the administration and faculty allegedly colluded to pass a student, who was failing by more than 10 marks, on grounds of personal bias. They allege that the student's marks were increased after the papers were decoded. While the students have been expressing discontent with the college administration for quite some time now, this incident seems to have been the last straw.
The students have now assembled in the college premises, raising slogans and holding placards in a peaceful demonstration of their cause. They have also been using newspapers as well as social media platforms to air their grievances with the hashtags "#FreeNLIU" and "#PinjraTod". They have, however, purportedly been shouted at and intimidated by the authorities, in a bid to avoid public scrutiny of the ongoing debacle.
Letter to the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court
The NLIU student body has also written a letter to the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court Hemant Gupta, who is the Chairman of the College's General Council, informing him of their plight.
Following are the grievances raised by their letter:
Delay in the release of results
The student body has complained of delay in declaration of results across batches, alleging that for the last trimester, the results were declared just 10 days before the commencement of the improvement examinations.
Accountability of Professors
As per the letter, the professors often fail to complete the subject syllabus before the examination. The students have also complained against the practice of teachers following varied curricula while teaching the same subject.
"The discrepancies in the teaching methods consequently lead to uncertain curricula and out-of- syllabus questions in the repeat and re-repeat examinations," the letter says.
They further allege that unlike other Universities, the teachers in their college do not prepare model answers or a standardized marking scheme before correcting papers. Citing a few instances of such arbitrary marking, the letter then states, "In light of the continuous revisions to the paper pattern and the total marks awarded per answer/paper, it is imperative for the teachers to take into considerations such changes in order to avoid erroneous correction."
Teachers have also been accused of being biased and increasing marks of a few students.
The students have expressed their disappointment with the practice of allowing the same teacher, who evaluated the copy in the first instance, to revaluate answer sheets. This, they say, "completely negates the purpose of reevaluation", depriving the students of an independent evaluation of their answer sheets.
The letter alleges that keeping the library open only till 9 pm restricts the "accessibility of essential resources to students act as a major hindrance in their preparation for various co-curricular activities".
The student body highlights instances where students have been denied academic leave even for strictly medical purposes, such as vertebral column injury and multiple fractures.