Jamia Cancels Safoora Zargar’s Thesis Citing ‘Unsatisfactory’ Progress


Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University has cancelled the admission of scholar and activist Safoora Zargar, who had protested against CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), due to “unsatisfactory” progress in her thesis work.

Zargar, who had enrolled with the Department of Sociology in the integrated MPhil/PhD programme, said the cancellation “breaks my heart but not my spirit”.

Earlier, Speaking to Clarion India, Safoora Zargar said she is going through a mental stress. “It is not a small decision to be taken; you are canceling the admission of an MPhil scholar, that too, after three long years of hard work. For this, I had to work hard during the pandemic. I was pregnant, was in jail, harassed online, and attacked by the state. Despite all this, I never compromised with my work, submitted everything on time, and today finally I am not being allowed to submit my work.”

In a notification dated August 26, the office of the dean, Faculty of Social Science, said she did not submit her M.Phil dissertation within the maximum stipulated time of five semesters.

“The registration of Safoora Zargar from M.Phil./Ph.D. (Sociology) stands cancelled on August 22, in anticipation of the approval of the same of the Faculty Committee,” the notification read.

The dean’s office mentioned that the action has been taken on the recommendation given by the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) on July 5. The matter was approved by the department’s Board of Studies, the highest decision-making body of the department, on August 22.

“On the recommendation of the RAC, dated July 5, the DRC (Department Research Committee) dated August 22, and the supervisor’s report, the Board of Studies approved the cancellation of admission of Safoora Zargar, M.Phil./Ph.D Scholar, registered under Prof. Kulwinder Kaur,” the notification further read.

The administration claimed that her supervisor marked her performance “unsatisfactory” in the progress report, that she did not apply for an extension as a woman scholar’ before the expiry of the stipulated maximum period.

“The scholar did not submit her M.Phil dissertation within the maximum stipulated time of five semesters plus on an additional semester of Covid extension (sixth semester), that was also given to her, which ended on February 6,” the notification mentioned.

Zargar, meanwhile, took to Twitter to point out how quickly her admission cancellation was approved.

The usually snail-paced Jamia admin moved at light speed to cancel my admission, foregoing all due process. Let it be known, it breaks my heart but not my spirit,” Zargar tweeted.

Zargar and some Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leaders have been accused of being the masterminds of the February 2020 violence in northeast Delhi.

Last week, she tweeted that her application for an extension of MPhil thesis submission has been put on hold for over eight months. She had told PTI that the administration was not responding to her application.

On Wednesday, she had written to Jamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar that she was being subjected to undue harassment and ridicule at the hands of the administration.

“While UGC has granted five consecutive Covid extensions I have been given only one. I was forced to apply for an extension under the women scholar category, only to be denied after months citing ‘unsatisfactory progress’….This is in clear violation of the guidelines laid down by UGC (University Grants Commission) and points to the malafide intentions of the supervisor and the department. I will be taking all remedial action available to me,” the letter read.

A day later, the university issued a statement saying Zargar did not complete her dissertation before the expiry of the Covid extension that came to an end on February 6, and there was no provision for any further Covid extension as per the UGC notification as the scholar had been claiming.


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