Academics, labour researchers and trade unionists from over 50 countries who participated in the XII Global Labour University Conference held in JNU from October 4-6, 2017 appealed to the JNU VC to uphold academic freedom and the right to disagree.
The Chairperson of the International Steering Committee Prof. Michelle Williams wrote to the JNU Vice-Chancellor conveying the message of the conference participants. In her letter, she wrote:
We firmly believe that the basic foundations of progress, understanding and peaceful development are to be found in academic freedom, empirical research into the realities of today’s world, and open debates about how to interpret academic findings and how to connect them into the realm of decision-making. In this context we are concerned about recent developments and administrative measures that encroach upon academic freedom and the right to disagree in academic decision making. We are concerned that these measures may lead to a situation that will jeopardise fair and autonomous academic functioning of a world renowned university.
Our network as well as other scientific communities have been benefiting immensely from the richness of JNU’s contribution to academic discourse meeting the highest standards of excellence and academic freedom. We express our hope that you will address our concerns and that an academic atmosphere will prevail at JNU in which knowledge can be freely generated for the benefit of all strata of society – in India and elsewhere.