Focus: The real will of the JNU AC. JNU teachers’ suggestions to harmonise the JNU Act,Statutes and Ordinances with the UGC Regulations 

The JNUTA would like to bring into focus the eminently sensible position taken to the JNU AC by over 40 JNU teachers (the overwhelming majority of the house) via a motion they sought to move. Instead of the motion being moved, or even being listened to, the teachers were heckled and not given permission or the mike to speak by the Chair of the Academic Council. The motion moved is below. 

Dear Chairperson/Secretary

We the undersigned members of the Academic Council, wish to bring to your attention the
following with reference to Part A Meeting, Agenda Item No 2, point no. 8, pertaining to
weightage of written examination to viva voce:  

  1. We want to underline the fact that the 142nd Academic Council did not resolve to revisit
    the Admission Policy in the light of the UGC Regulations, May 2016.  
  2. Such a decision could not have been taken when there was no clarity with regards to the
    impact of several provisions of the UGC Regulations 2016 on the approved admission
    policy, as is evidenced by the Vice-Chancellor’s letter to the UGC dated 29.12.16 asking
    for clarification on just two of the many issues that arise. To our knowledge, no
    clarification has been asked for/received with respect to its impact on intake and the implementation of the CEI Act and other Constitutional provisions with respect to
    reservations. The 21 March Admission Policy does not have the approval of the Academic Council.  
  3. The fact that the 21 March Admission Policy has resulted in zero admissions to 63
    research programmes of the Centre does not have the approval of this Council. The fact
    that no logical explanation for the rationale for an 83% reduction in seats for admission
    attracts our specific condemnation.  
  4. Furthermore, this 21 March Admission Policy has led to a separation of integrated
    programmes such as the MPH/PhD programme and the M.Tech/PhD programmes. This
    is entirely without the approval of the Academic Council and is therefore
    unmaintainable in law. 
  5. The 21 March Admission Policy has also illegally changed the eligibility criteria for
    admission to the research programmes of the University set by the Academic Council.
    The current policy is in contravention of the fact that Academic Council has recognised  that the M.Sc. degree holders may apply for admission to PhD in the Science Schools. It
    is also in contravention of Clause 3.1 of the UGC Regulations 2016. Furthermore, by
    refusing to recognise the approved policy by which the UGC-JRF holders need not write
    the JNU entrance examination and may be shortlisted for the interview directly, the
    university administration has violated Clause 5.1 of the UGC Regulations 2016.  
  6. The University’s admission policy must harmonise the provisions of its Act, particularly
    the objects in its First Schedule, its Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations, conventions and  past practices, and its research character with the UGC Regulations 2016. There exists a
    time-tested consultative process where the opinions of Schools and Centres as well as Unions and Associations are sought by the Academic Council on adoption of UGC
    Regulations and changes in admission policy and Ordinances. We, as members of the
    Council were not consulted about the unilateral decision to give this process the complete go-by in this instance, and we strongly disapprove of this.  
  7. As members of the Council, we re-assert the statutory powers of the Academic Council as the sole academic body vested with the power to determine the admission policy of the  university and the reinstatement of the consultative practices on adoption that  constitute the norm for functioning of the AC. 
  8. We propose that the Council appoint a representative committee comprising (a) Deans of all Schools and Chairpersons of Special Centres, (b) two faculty members from each  School, nominated by the Deans, and (c) two representatives each nominated by JNUTA  and JNUSU. The terms of reference of the Special Committee shall be:  
  • To suggest measures by which the provisions of the JNU Act, Statutes,  Ordinances, and Regulations and the requirements of the CEI Act and other Constitutional provisions on reservations may be harmonised with the UGC Regulations 2016.
  • To propose a reformulation of Ordinances relating to the award of the M.Phil. and  PhD degrees. 
  • To propose a revised admission schedule for the 2017-18 admissions to the M.Tech./ M.Phil./PhD degrees.  

The Committee’s report may be submitted in 4 weeks and thereafter sent to Schools/Special Centres/Centres for their comments/suggestions. An emergency meeting of the Academic Council may be convened within 4 weeks to arrive at a final conclusion.

We therefore request you to:

a) Initiate a full discussion on these items;
b) Kindly record our views stated in this memorandum.
c) Call a vote on the issue; failing which, record our views as a note of dissent against each of our names.

The JNU VC/Registrar should explain why this motion couldn’t be placed before the house for discussion. 

Ayesha Kidwai                  Pradeep Shinde

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s