Student leaders from top institutes of the country on Thursday demanded the reopening of college and university campuses, which have been shut for the past one and a half years due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The activists, who belong to Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), also urged the state and central governments to provide concession in fees to the students who are facing financial constraints due to the pandemic and lockdown. They also advocated for a special economic package to provide remedial measures for the huge academic loss and vaccination for all the students, teachers and staff.

The student leaders were speaking at a press conference organised by Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), which observed Thursday as ‘National Protest Day’. Earlier in the day, a protest was held in front of JMI to push authorities to resume the physical classes at the university. The organisation has been staging agitations, meeting with authorities and submitted memoranda asking to reopen educational institutes and to provide students with the necessary facilities to continue their education.

Anti-CAA movement leader and recent JMI graduate Asif Iqbal Tanha said, “Now that Covid-19 cases are decreasing across the country, with a few exceptions, and life is returning to some semblance of normalcy in most areas, there is an urgent need to reopen campuses. However, they said that the authorities are not serious about it. They asked institutes to facilitate education on campus while following health protocols and restrictions.

“The country is facing acute economic distress. However, rather than alleviating the pain of students, many of the educational institutions are still charging fees for facilities like libraries, laboratories and other campus activities. They demanded that all the unnecessary fees be waived by the government and institutes,” said SIO Secretary General Syed Muzakkir

Former JNU Councilor Afreen Fatima, AMU student Abdul Wadood and Director of Cenre for Educational Research and Training (CERT) Adv. Fawaz Shaheen participated in the press conference.

The activists, who belong to Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), also urged the state and central governments to provide concession in fees to the students who are facing financial constraints due to the pandemic and lockdown. They also advocated for a special economic package to provide remedial measures for the huge academic loss and vaccination for all the students, teachers and staff.

The student leaders were speaking at a press conference organised by Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO), which observed Thursday as ‘National Protest Day’. Earlier in the day, a protest was held in front of JMI to push authorities to resume the physical classes at the university. The organisation has been staging agitations, meeting with authorities and submitted memoranda asking to reopen educational institutes and to provide students with the necessary facilities to continue their education.

Anti-CAA movement leader and recent JMI graduate Asif Iqbal Tanha said, “Now that Covid-19 cases are decreasing across the country, with a few exceptions, and life is returning to some semblance of normalcy in most areas, there is an urgent need to reopen campuses. However, they said that the authorities are not serious about it. They asked institutes to facilitate education on campus while following health protocols and restrictions.

“The country is facing acute economic distress. However, rather than alleviating the pain of students, many of the educational institutions are still charging fees for facilities like libraries, laboratories and other campus activities. They demanded that all the unnecessary fees be waived by the government and institutes,” said SIO Secretary General Syed Muzakkir

Former JNU Councilor Afreen Fatima, AMU student Abdul Wadood and Director of Cenre for Educational Research and Training (CERT) Adv. Fawaz Shaheen participated in the press conference.