Following an Academic Council Meeting held last Sunday, protesting students of the Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University (DSNLU), Visakhapatnam called off their strike on Monday.
The protest, which began on July 20, was prompted by the forced eviction of over 80 students from the University hostels for having failed to clear their backlog. Students took to staging a dharna near the University gate for over a week.
An amendment made to the DSNLU Examination Rules in May 2017 had increased the number of attempts students could make to clear their backlog.
However, the prospective application of the Rule meant that in some batches, students who failed to clear their odd semester exams got only three attempts, whereas students who failed in the even semester were able to avail four attempts.
Vice Chancellor Prof Kesava Rao had expressed his inability to conduct an additional re-test for those who failed in the odd semester, given directions issued by the Hyderabad High Court to conduct exams strictly in accordance with the DSNLU Examination Rules.
As a result, the students were asked to leave the University, until an Academic Council meeting was convened to decide on the plausibility of conducting a special re-test this year. In the meanwhile, they were to be treated as detained students, who could opt to rejoin the next academic year.
While protesting against such detention and eviction, students also raised larger systemic issues regarding the conduct of University exams and allied University rules.
One particular demand made in the course of protests was the abolition of the post of Dean of Examinations. This demand was accepted on July 27, Day 7 of the protests. For now, VC Rao is directly overseeing the examination section.
Following its meeting last weekend, the Academic Council also passed a resolution approving the conduct of a Special Odd Semester Repeat Examination from August 6 onwards. The Council acceded to the same, given that the rule introduced in May 2017 already applied to the even semester exams for the same academic year.
The strike was called off on Sunday after the Academic Council’s decision was communicated to the students.