On CAS help desk and Academic Calendar

Dear Colleagues,

You may recall that we had raised four issues — CAS promotions, Academic Calendar, JNU Creche and JNUTA membership — in our meeting with the Vice Chancellor a few weeks back. This is to update you on the developments on these issues.

CAS promotions

Choice between 2010/6 and 2018 CAS forms

We impressed upon Prof Pandit that the UGC 2018 regulations allow this choice to faculty members whose eligibility for promotions falls between 18 July 2018 and 17 July 2021. Prof. Pandit herself in our meeting had reiterated that whatever was followed in universities such as Delhi University (the relevance of which will become clear below), which was in a similar situation of dealing with a huge backlog of promotions, will be followed in JNU as well without any prejudice. Prof Pandit has promised to look into the matter in greater detail and discuss with the higher authorities after which we are supposed to meet her again.

Since this is mandated by the UGC itself, the university should not force people to exclusively apply using the 2018 form, as is apparently the case currently. While in many ways 2018 regulations are better than 2010/6 regulations (for eg., counting of ad-hoc service of less than one year or relaxation of categories of API points), in other ways it sets comparatively inflexible criteria, especially when it comes to the requirements of orientation/refresher/FDPs/minimum publications. So, the minimum eligibility, according to 2018 regulations, starts from the year of fulfilment of all the requirements and not according to the years of service, something on which 2010/6 regulations were much more accommodative.

Why this choice is important can be understood from a hypothetical example. Suppose someone’s eligibility in terms of years falls on 21 Nov 2019 but she has completed (or yet to complete) her refresher/orientation/publication requirement on 20 Nov 2021, she stands to lose two years if she applied under the 2018 regulations. It is to avoid such hardships to the faculty that the UGC itself included a clause giving a choice to the faculty if the promotions were due within 3 years of the 2018 notification. So, in this example, if she applied under the 2010/6 regulations, she would be able to save those 2 years. Following is the relevant excerpt from the 2018 UGC regulations (linked here):

Clause 6.3: "The criteria for promotions under Career Advancement Scheme laid down under these Regulations shall be effective from the date of notification of these Regulations. However, to avoid hardship to those faculty members who have already qualified or are likely to qualify shortly under the existing regulations, a choice may be given to them, for being considered for promotions under the existing Regulations. This option can be exercised only within three years from the date of notification of these Regulations." (emphasis added)

That this was accepted and implemented by other universities can be appreciated from the fact that the Delhi University adopted a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) after incorporating this in their rules of CAS promotions. The relevant excerpt from the DU SOP (attached) is here:

“The UGC Regulations 2018 further extends an option to the candidates, whose cases are pending under CAS 2010, to opt for CAS 2018 scheme with the same date of eligibility to avoid any hardship to the candidates. Accordingly, the candidate may opt for CAS 2010 or CAS 2018 as per the applicant’s option for each of the pending promotions or the promotions becoming due within three years from 18.07.2018.” (pg. 7 of DU SOP, emphasis added)

In light of this clearly stated policy, it is unacceptable that the JNU academic branch is denying the faculty members this option. Since this is a matter under discussion with both the VC and the IQAC director, may we request those faculty members who have to make this choice to please wait for 2-3 weeks within which we hope to resolve this issue.

Counting of past service

This too was raised with the IQAC director as a follow up to our discussion with the VC. The Director has assured us that the process of CAS promotions has already started and all such cases are being dealt with in the right earnest. We reiterated that those cases which have been cleared by earlier committees should not be scrutinised again, which will only lead to loss of precious time and mental harassment of faculty members. We would request faculty members to come forward and get in touch with the JNUTA team dealing with this issue to raise specific concerns that they may have.

Only when these two contentious issues are resolved, can the process of CAS promotions proceed in a fair and just manner. We are going to again reiterate formulation of a JNU specific SOP, a draft of which was submitted by the JNUTA in our meeting with the VC and her team. To facilitate this and other CAS promotions related issue, the JNUTA is planning to organise a CAS help-desk for 3 days: July 11-13 between 2:30-5:00 pm at the JNUTA office. A JNUTA team will be available there should you need assistance on any aspect of the CAS promotions.

Academic Calendar

The JNUTA would like to inform you that our proposal on the restoration and synchronisation of the academic calendar with winter and summer vacations has been accepted. The Monsoon semester 2022-23 notified by the JNU administration recently takes the winter vacations into account. It remains to be seen, however, whether the admissions for the 2022-23 session can be completed by the date that is mentioned in the notification. As for the winter semester 2022-23, an agenda in the AC meeting also proposes a calendar with the usual length of summer vacations from May 2023. The JNUTA had also raised the issue of crediting ELs in lieu of the no-vacation teaching load that the faculty had to go through during the pandemic but we are afraid there has been no progress on that front from the side of the administration.

Day Care Centre

One issue that the Vice-Chancellor promised to take up is that of restarting the JNU Day Care Centre (DCC), recognizing its importance particularly for the young women faculty members, staff and research scholars and, secondly, acknowledging that a functioning DCC is among the University’s legally mandated responsibility. However, till date, the JNUTA is not aware about any progress on this front and intends to follow this up sincerely.

Outstanding issues

Two issues — crediting earned leave to faculty members in lieu of loss of vacation period in the last two years, and restoring the deduction of JNUTA membership fees from salaries on request from colleagues — are still pending. The JNUTA intends to pursue these two issues and we will update the faculty members as and when we hear something about those.

Signing off…

In the next round of discussion with the Vice Chancellor (which we hope will be held soon), the JNUTA also plans to raise other issues — the leave committee, retirement benefits, the infamous chargesheet and the way this is being used to deny teachers of their rights, in spite of a stay order on the same, medical and housing related matters. We will keep the faculty members posted on all these issues in the days to come.

Before we sign off, a reminder to all interested to please avail of:

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