SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: July 29, 2021

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Institution(s):Jai Narayan Vyas University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 29, 2021, Jai Narayan Vyas University (JNVU) suspended three students in apparent retaliation for their participation in protests on campus.

On July 29, about a hundred students reportedly participated in a protest at JNVU to demand the suspension and waiver of student fees, to accommodate the closure of the university due to COVID-19. The students reportedly entered a campus building, interrupting a meeting about examinations, held by the Vice Chancellor with all JNVU faculty members. The students reportedly handed a memorandum to the Vice Chancellor, outlining their demands.

Shortly thereafter, the Chief Proctor of JNVU issued an indefinite suspension order against Ravindra Singh Bhati, the JNVU Student Union President, Chirag Singh Bhati, and Twinkal Kanwar for “unauthorized entrance… to deter public servant[s] from discharge of their duties.”

On August 3, JNVU revoked the suspension order against Chirag Singh Bahti and Twinkal Kanwar.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the indefinite suspension of students in apparent retaliation for the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly—conduct that is expressly protected under international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which India is a party. University authorities should refrain from retaliating against expressive activity, so long as it is undertaken peacefully and responsibly. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, disciplinary actions aimed at restricting or retaliating against such activity undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.