Aarogya Setu will be mandatory for Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students and employees once the university reopens on November 2, the varsity announced on October 21. This is despite Home Ministry’s guidelines from May 17 that made the app voluntary. People who have an “unsafe status” on the app will not be allowed to enter the university. If people do not adhere to these directions, they will be “liable for disciplinary action”.
Karnataka High Court, too, had ordered on October 19 that no central and state government agencies can deny benefits to a citizen if they do not have the app installed. JNU is a central, publicly-funded university. We have reached out to the university for comment, and to know what happens to students and employees who do not have smartphones and thus cannot download the app.
JNU had 8,805 total enrolled students in the academic year 2019-20 of which nearly 6,000 resided in JNU hostels, as per data available on the university website. 118 students from economically weaker section (EWS) are also enrolled in the university. In academic year 2018-19, it had 567 teachers and 1006 non-teaching staff as of October 31, 2019.
JNU will reopen in a phased manner. From November 2, only doctoral students and project staff, who are day scholars and need access to the laboratories or need to submit their doctoral theses by December 31, 2020 or June 20, 2021 will be allowed. From November 16, final year doctoral students and project staff who reside in hostels will be allowed to enter the campus, provided phase one is successfully implemented.