8 March 2022

JNUTA (2022-23) would like to welcome Prof Pandit, who has taken over as the Vice Chancellor of our university recently. We hope that she, specially being an alumna, will work constructively with the JNUTA to retrieve the university from the crisis that we find ourselves in. In this process of reviving the long held democratic traditions that JNU is known for, JNUTA and faculty will extend their full cooperation.

We would also like to convey our deep appreciation to the outgoing TA (2020-2022) executive members (EC) for valiantly taking on the responsibilities thrust upon them in very hard times. Much of their tenure overlapped with the extension period of the last Vice Chancellor, and this was not an easy period to pursue the goals that we collectively wished to achieve. In particular, we commend the support they provided to the JNU community during the distressing second wave of Covid. We, the incoming EC members of JNUTA, will make sincere efforts to work cohesively as a team with courage and purpose. To start with, we intend to focus on:

  1. Overdue promotions of colleagues and facilitating retirement benefits due to retiring faculty members among other rights that have been denied to them in the last 6 years.
  2. Institutional functioning to restore the teaching-learning and research environment that has been damaged greatly in the last few years; this would involve moving back to the democratic principles embedded in the JNU Act, Statutes and Ordinances.
  3. Collate viewpoints of colleagues and work out effective strategies and mechanisms of engagement with the NEP implementation, ensuring that this does not compromise on 2.
  4. To strengthen solidarity among teachers, and between teacher-students-non- teaching staff to work in partnership towards 2 and 3.

It is serendipitous that our team, which has 11 women out of a total of 19 members, is being handed over the JNUTA responsibility on International Women’s Day. We wish a happy Women’s Day to all our colleagues. We are, however, concerned that gender justice on the campus has been greatly compromised in the last few years. Some of the observable signs of this are:

  1. Only 17.7% of the faculty recruited between 2017 and 2020 were women. This share was 14% among posts reserved for OBCs and nil for posts reserved for STs and PwDs.
  2. JNU through its system of deprivation points had established an admission system that facilitated the entry of women and students from remote and backward regions. As a result, the university had
    reached an enviable share of above 60% women among the admitted students. After dilution of the deprivation point system, the share has been steadily declining over the past years from 54% in 2016-17 to 45.5% in 2019-20.
  3. Research programmes have been particularly hard hit, with the share of women scholars dipping to 41% in 2019- 20.

The JNUTA EC 2022-23 is heartened by the fact that concerns about building gender equality and sensitivity have been expressed by the Vice Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit in a recent interview. The JNUTA EC believes that the foundation of a gender sensitive environment marked with freedom and
choice for JNU would be laid by a restoration of the institution of GSCASH.

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