By SHAHEEN ABDULLA / Maktoob Media

Student activist and research scholar Safoora Zargar says that the Department of Sociology in Jamia Millia Islamia is threatening to cancel her Mphil admission in a “discriminatory” move.

The 29-year-old Muslim activist claims that her application for an extension of Mphil thesis submission has been put on hold for over eight months.

“As if now I don’t know the status of my admission and nothing has been communicated to me,” Zargar told Maktoob.

Responding to the allegations, Dr Manisha Tripathy Pandey, Professor and Head of the Sociology department, said all the due procedures were taken.

Pandey cancelled the call before any further enquiries were made about the status of the admission.

Zargar’s Mphil, which she began in February 2019, looks into “socio-spatial segregation among Muslims in Delhi. A case study of Ghaffar Manzil Colony”.

She works under associate professor Kulwinder Kaur and completed three years in February 2022, with one COVID extension and a normal extension available for all scholars.

In December 2021, Zargar submitted an application for a COVID extension, in which the department only granted two months — till February 2022.

When the department verbally declined to forward her application for a full six-month extension, as per the University Grants Commission notification, she wrote to the registrar, which she believe bothered her supervisor.

In May 2022, UGC declared that universities and higher educational institutions can give another extension of up to six months beyond 30 June for MPhil or PhD thesis submission on a case-to-case basis after reviewing a student’s work. This was the fifth COVID extension granted to research scholars.

The first extension was granted in June 2020 and extended further every six months due to prevailing the COVID-19 situation.

According to Zargar, the department officials told her that she was not eligible for any more COVID extensions, as she once took an extension.

“It defeats the entire purpose of the relief given by UGC. COVID have been here for two years and that is why there were consecutive extensions,” points out Zargar.

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