The Delhi University (DU) administration has sent showcause notices to at least seven students from various departments for staging a month-long protest against “mass failure” in the Math department. In many cases, the notices have been delivered to the students’ permanent addresses, that is, to their parents. “Your unlawful activities have been causing inconvenience and disruption in the day to day academic and administrative functioning of the Faculty of Mathematical Science and the University system since February 14. You are hereby required to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against you under Ordinance XV-B, Clause 3(i) of the Delhi University Act, 1922,” read the notice dated March 15, signed by Proctor Neeta Sehgal.
“Your reply must reach to this office latest by March 25, failing which appropriate disciplinary action shall be initiated against you,” it said.
Postgraduate students have been on strike since mid-February alleging “mass failures” in several papers — 35 out of 40 students have failed in the Computational Fluid Dynamics course, 150 out of 300 in the Field Theory paper and 130 out of 300 in the Measure and Integration paper.
The notice has been sent to students of the Math department, as well as those from the Faculty of Law and Punjabi department who also participated in the protest.
An MSc Math student, who got to know about the notice after his mother informed him about it, said: “The notice was delivered to my home in Sonepat, Haryana. I got an earful from my mother as she was not in favour of me participating in the protest. But I did so because the demands were genuine. When we are above 18 years of age, why should the notice be sent to our parents?”
Another student from the Punjabi department, who received the notice at his hometown in Sangrur, Punjab, on Friday, said, “Luckily, I was at home, so I received the notice. I haven’t told my parents yet. This is ridiculous…they are trying to build pressure on us through our parents.”
A student of law and member of the Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch, who also received the notice, said the protest would continue after the semester break on Monday. “They are trying to suppress dissenting voices, but we will fight till the end. Students will not relent till their demands are met,” he said.
Sehgal did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express.