Naming it an approach of “ineptitude”, teachers from JNU alleged that while the university is capable of generating Oxygen. This is much in demand at the moment due to the surging pandemic – their suggestion to do has not been acted upon by JNU VC M. Jagadesh Kumar.
The proposal involves modifying a Nitrogen extraction machine into an Oxygen extraction machine at its laboratory building on campus. It is already working in the neighboring Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. However, the proposal by faculty members of the School of Life Sciences has not seen the light of day as JNU VC has not taken a firm decision.
Sharma said they have made repeated requests to the administration for COVID Care facilities on campus by converting the existing guesthouses into isolation centers for residents. The proposal submitted by the CSMCH faculty provides for a three-tier level of health care on campus. The first is for those undergoing home isolation which will have a COVID telephonic medical counseling facility; second, an isolation center for patients who need it (confirmed and suspect cases) from JNU, breaking the chain of transmission; and third, a COVID Oxygen Support Unit to provide interim primary COVID care to JNU community members needing oxygen support while arrangements are being made to arrange for a hospital bed. The proposal submitted by SLS seeks to supplement the working of the proposed Oxygen Unit, along with the commitments made by the Delhi Government to supply the same if JNU declares the creation of such a facility within the campus.
The teachers maintained that the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has operationalized its facilities for the oxygen on campus through the same method as was proposed by JNU faculty.
Moushumi Basu, Associate Professor at the School of International Studies, said the students of the university have been subjected to “inhumane conditions” at isolation centers run by the Delhi Government. Had the proposal being accepted, they could have been treated on the campus itself.
Students who test positive on the JNU campus are being taken to an isolation center in Sultanpuri, where the facilities are dire. We have received pictures sent by students of dirty toilets, open garbage cans, unchanged sheets, bedding that show how unhygienic and unsafe the facilities are. I am aware of a family of eight members where a pregnant lady and her daughter are sharing a toilet with other infected family members. If only such isolation facilities had been created in JNU, in guesthouses or, make-shift arrangements in the stadium, not just students but other residents as well would have been spared the trouble of living in such unhygienic places outside the campus, she added.
The teachers said that Kumar also did not show any positive response to the offer of a donation of Oxygen concentrators made by a foreign university.
Satyamurti, Professor at School of Sanskrit and Indic studied last week after contracting COVID-19. Former professors Alokesh Barua and Ashok Rastogi too have succumbed to the contagion.