JNUTA statement on the JNU Admit Cards Announcing Delinking of M.Phil. and PhD programmes

The JNUTA condemns in the strongest of terms the JNU Administrations’ move of informing candidates appearing for the JNU Entrance Examinations to be held in a couple of weeks’ time that those who have applied for admission to the integrated M.Phil/Ph.D programme in 2018-19 “will be considered for the M.Phil programme only and the M.Phil programme will be a terminal degree programme”. This patently illegal declaration is another reflection of the farce to which the current JNU Administration has reduced JNU’s admission process and the academic programmes fed by it.

The statement appearing on the admit cards issued to students claims that this is as per the decision of the Academic Council at its 144th meeting held on 1 December 2017.

The Academic Council did not actually take any such decision; rather it was the Vice-Chancellor who announced that he would be setting up a committee to look into a proposal made by the Rector I, which was not endorsed by any other member of the AC. It should also be noted that there was NO discussion or even unilateral announcement w.r.t. delinking the M.Phil and Ph.D programmes for the ongoing admissions for the A.Y. 2018-19. In fact, given the clear position of the Standing Committee on Admissions included in the agenda papers, that this could only be considered later after detailed deliberation, this so-called decision reflects only the unilateralism that this VC’s armour, and nothing of the will of the members of the Academic Council. JNUTA would like to remind the VC that the minutes of the 144th AC meeting have not even been circulated yet, let alone been confirmed.

JNU’s integrated M.Phil./PhD programme is, as the administration has been forced to admit, is not in violation of the hallowed UGC Regulations 2016, and therefore there is no legitimising the completely illegal step of changing the terms of programmes long after the admission announcement and closure of the application process. The admission offers to different M.Phi/Ph.D programmes and Direct Ph.D were announced in the prospectus, and the intake for each of them, were arrived at on the basis of these being components of an integrated programme. The syllabi for the entrance examinations were announced on the same basis. Candidates were also required to apply and meet eligibility requirements accordingly. How can these be suddenly changed at almost the last moment when candidates are not in a position to revise their original decisions? How can this delinking be legal when the necessary amendments to the Ph.D Ordinance have not even been framed yet, let alone been adopted by the Executive Council on the recommendation of the Academic Council. De-linking would also involve having separate course-work for Ph.D programmes, the process of whose creation and approval by statutory bodies has not even been initiated.

The JNUTA demands immediate withdrawal of the announcement that M.Phil will be a terminal degree for candidates who have applied for M.Phil/Ph.D. The JNUTA warns that the failure to do so might even result in the entrance examination process for 2018-19 having to be repeated.

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