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‘Breaks My Heart, Not My Spirit’: Jamia Cancels Safoora Zargar’s MPhil Admission

She shared the letter in a tweet and said, “Let it be known, it breaks my heart but not my spirit."

Published
India
2 min read
‘Breaks My Heart, Not My Spirit’: Jamia Cancels Safoora Zargar’s MPhil Admission
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Jamia Millia Islamia on Monday, 29 August, cancelled the MPhil admission of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (anti-CAA) activist Safoora Zargar.

She shared the letter in a tweet and said, “The usually snail-paced Jamia admin moving at light speed to cancel my admission, foregoing all due process. Let it be known, it breaks my heart but not my spirit."

This comes days after she alleged that the university is denying her submission of the thesis.

She had alleged that “Jamia has given her only one COVID extension while there are provisions for five as per the University Grants Commission (UGC).” She alleged that the university has “refused” to provide her with any more extensions.

A senior official of Jamia, meanwhile, had shared a response on behalf of the university administration with The Quint, in which they claimed that Zargar “did not complete her dissertation before the expiry of her COVID extension.”

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What Does the University's Notice Say Now?

The notice by the university states that the Board of Studies approved the cancellation of her admission on the following grounds:

  • Her progress report by the supervisor was unsatisfactory.

  • The scholar did not apply for an extension, as a woman scholar, before the expiry of the stipulated maximum period.

  • The scholar did not submit her MPhil dissertation within the maximum stipulated time of five semesters plus an additional semester of COVID extension (6th semester) that was also given to her, which ended on 6th February 2022.

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Background

Zargar was enrolled with the Department of Sociology in the integrated MPhil and PhD programme. Her research, ‘Socio-Spatial Segregation of Muslims in Urban Areas,’ began in 2019.

In April 2020, Zargar, who was pregnant at the time, was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for her alleged involvement in the communal violence that broke out in northeast Delhi in February 2020, in which 53 people were killed.

She was granted bail in June 2020.

At the same time, Jamia shut down its premises due to the COVID-induced lockdown, which was a major setback for research scholars.

This year, on 24 August, Zargar wrote to the vice chancellor of the university that she had been facing departmental and administrative issues.

On the same day, she tweeted, “Since December 2021, I have been made to run from pillar to post for extensions that are easily given to other scholars in the university. I have faced severe abuse at the hands of my supervisor and my department. While the UGC has granted five consecutive COVID extensions, I have been given only one.”

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