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In Solidarity with HPNLU.

The Student Juridical Association (SJA) of National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata stands in solidarity with the students of Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla in their protest against their administration owing to a plethora of issues plaguing their university. The students had protested in March due to the lack of basic infrastructure and facilities in the university. Owing to several assurances being given by the administration, they decided to temporarily call off this protest. However, since the situation did not improve and their demands were not met, they resumed their protest a few days ago. Within a day of the protest being resumed, the administration issued a notice mandating closure of the university and directed the students to vacate the premises of the university.

The students, in their statement , have expressed their displeasure that at the apathy shown by the administration and enlisted a number of problems that affected the university. The problems range from the lack of opportunities for co-curricular activities, to the absence of basic infrastructure such as availability of clean drinking water and hygienic food. Inter alia, they have stated there they are not being provided with Wi-Fi facilities, moot court facilities etc. despite being charged for the same. The students also demanded that a student body be set up to represent student interests.

The administration has cited the nascent stage of the university as reason for being unable to comply with student demands. The students stated that their previous attempts to engage in a dialogue with administration had not yielded any positive results. Hence, they had decided to protest indefinitely. However, the administration had apprised the students that dire consequences shall follow if they engage in the protest. Now, the administration has completely disregarded student demands by issuing a notice of closure of the university. It must be noted that the demands made by the students were legitimate and, as a matter of fact, were in the pursuance of the bare minimum standard that needs to be met in any institution.

Though lack of funds is a legitimate concern that troubles all universities, it should not be a reason for denying basic faculties to students. Moreover, in a National Law University, meeting a certain standard of infrastructure and education is non-negotiable. The statement rightly notes that “the facilities provided by an institution are directly proportional to the amount of progress made by that institution and its students.” Instead of responding to student demands, the administration has decided to evict the students out of the campus. This is contrary to the spirit of what National Law Universities were envisaged to be. Hence, the SJA stands in solidarity with the students of HPNLU, and requests the administration to take into account their legitimate concerns.

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