Amity University is in the news. Not because a fest is on or a student has broken a record. The University is in the news for the suicide of a law student in Amity Law School, Noida. The larger question that is haunting people is how justified is the 75% attendance clause. Sushant Rohilla’s death leaves many questions for parents, students and more importantly Amity to ponder over.
For old timers, attendance rules supreme and must be mandatory so as to run an institution successfully. For my parents specifically bunking classes and enjoying time has never been the done thing. When one recalls times spent in Amity University Lucknow, one understands that it is a tough call but has to be followed.
As a student my take always has been that it is not the attendance that matters in life but it is the practical exposure that the University gives that helps. In my college days in Amity University Lucknow what helped was the exposure by teachers who sent us on assignments and even checked copy giving critical inputs. So maybe the 75% attendance is of some help if you are getting regular assignments and learning practical skills.
There are reports Sushant Rohilla had written to the higher-ups for intervention but to no avail. The Sushant Rohilla case has seen massive protests from college students. Two of the accused in Amity Law School Noida have also resigned.
Meanwhile authorities have been given a cleanchit in the death of the law student whose family has accused them of abetting his suicide.
In the interim report, the panel observed that the college and faculty were following the rules and regulations of the Guru Gobind Singh IP University.
20 year old Sushant, a fourth year student of BA-LLB in Amity Law School, last week committed suicide at his residence in south Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar area.
Sushant and 19 other students were not permitted to take the exams.
Even by giving grace attendance for activities like moot court competitions, the level of attendance was as low as 43 per cent.
The University maintains it informed the student and the father about the shortage of attendance. Protestors call for institutional reforms.
In a fight that has picked steam, students and Rohilla’s family blame mental harassment by the college as the reason.
The Amity Law School is approved by the Bar Council of India, which requires it to follow BCI’s norms. The Rules framed by the BCI clearly lay down attendance to be calculated after including moot court room exercises, tutorials, and practical training apart from classes.
When media houses approached the Moot Court Society they said that Rohilla had been assured that his attendance will be compensated.
Rohilla reports suggest had been preparing for a competition despite an injury to his leg. Moreover, he was also involved with a magazine printed after the completion of a national moot competition, with the debating society, and also participated in debates and moots himself.
For law, knowing the legal aspects and knowing the legal lexicon at the back of your hand is crucial and law classes teach you exactly that as per experts and academicians.
More than 100 students of the university had been agitating until recently when the two accused in the Sushant Rohilla suicide resigned. Students had refused to attend classes.
Sushant’s sister Mehak Rohilla meanwhile has been tirelessly campaigning for her brother and she demands justice in his case.
Before he took the drastic step, Sushant wrote to Ashok Chouhan, the founding member of Amity, asking for help. Sushant clearly stated in his email that he would not be able to “mentally survive” debarment.
In Sushant’s case it is learnt, Clause 9 of Ordinance 11 of IP university’s rule book was applied. The clause states a student shall be required to have a minimum attendance of 75% in all courses taken together in a semester to be eligible for appearing in the exam.
Amity University has formed a seven-member committee to investigate the matter.
End of the day one can only hope that Mehak, Sushant’s sister’s call for this being the last case of suicide for harassment on campus does not fall on deaf ears. Even as protests in Amity have ended one should not stop discussing and debating the ways and means to cut down stress and strain on young and impressionable minds. They undoubtedly are the future of a bright and dynamic India.