The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teacher’s Association met the Vice Chancellor, Professor Pandit and the Rector, Professor Dubey on 4 July 2022, on matters which were considered urgent and critical by the JNUTA.
The points discussed and follow up suggestions are as following:
- Restoration of deprivation points for research admissions at the University: This pertains to its withdrawal for the PhD admissions by the earlier administration. The JNUTA requested the restoration of the deprivation points allotted on the basis of social justice and regional deprivation. The removal of deprivation points from PhD admissions has adversely impacted the overall profile of university research students in various ways. Consequently, the stock of the students admitted in the past years has become less diverse and exclusionary in terms of gender, caste and region. The JNUTA presentation brought out the dismal fallout of removing the deprivation points from PhD admissions and how this has adversely affected the university’s ranking and calculations by NIRF, which takes inclusion and disadvantage as criteria for evaluation.
The Vice Chancellor and the Rector were positive regarding the need to initiate the restoration of deprivation points. A detailed report of the problems has been sent to the Vice Chancellor in this regard.
- Challenges faced by the faculty members in sanction of leave (short and long-term leave) were brought up. The JNUTA reiterated its stand that the Leave Committee process has significant anomalies which need to be addressed, as no terms of reference have been specified and the process of approval lacked a timeline, transparency and a standard operating procedure. The JNUTA put forward the case that all pending applications must be cleared within an appropriate timespan. Regarding the two sabbatical applications that have not been processed, JNUTA urged for a speedy resolution. Further, it suggested that a document with updated rules and proforma that addresses all possible doubts and queries needs to be circulated widely as soon as possible.
- Concerns regarding pensions and health benefits for retired faculty members were discussed in detail with the appeal that they should be treated with dignity after their long years of service to the University, and be granted all the benefits that are due to them without any delay and ordeal. The JNUTA handed over documents that detailed the problems with respect to both retirement and medical benefits for the retired faculty members.
- Complaints from faculty members residing in campus regarding high water and electricity charges: The Rector clarified that the bills for residents are high because all campus bills are paid at a single rate for the university and the residential rates and subsidies on offer for consumers in Delhi can only be availed if the residential electricity line is separated from rest of the university. The administration has looked into this but the cost of separating the lines is prohibitively high.
- Follow up on the last meeting;
- The CAS promotion, particularly requests from faculty members on the issue of choice between 2010 and 2018 CAS forms. The flexibility offered by DU has allowed a choice between faculty members filling any of the two forms while applying for promotion, provided their date of eligibility falls on or before 17 July 2021 (the deadline set by the UGC itself). The exact clause of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) adopted officially by the University of Delhi was quoted as follows:
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)
Interpreted in this manner, this means all those who are eligible for promotions on or before 17.07.2021 can exercise the choice between 2010 and 2018 forms irrespective of the date of their CAS application. This was a choice given by the UGC itself ‘to avoid hardship to the faculty members’.
The TA urged that the possibilities of accepting this provision by the JNU administration should be looked into along with the CAS process which has been initiated.
- The reopening of the day-care centre on a priority basis and a possible expansion of this facility to include a Women’s Centre for counselling and other relief was discussed. It was decided that the University would explore funding opportunities with the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Government of India as well as CSR funds. The JNUTA was asked to help prepare the proposal and a budget.
We appreciate the opportunity for active interaction with the Vice-Chancellor and the Rector and hope that a continuous dialogue would be possible in times to come to discuss and resolve critical issues impacting all teachers in particular and the University in general.