JNU admin, teachers engage in war of words

In a show of solidarity, teachers join hunger strike called by students’ body

Responding to the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Union (JNUTA) participating in the hunger strike called by the students’ body (JNUSU), the administration termed it unfortunate. It said that the teachers’ body was indulging in lies and smear campaigns against the university.

‘Toxic combination’

The JNUTA said that they were in solidarity with the students as they were “appalled at the toxic combination of authoritarianism, lawlessness and antipathy to social justice that propels the current JNU administration, such that it is acting against the very mandate of the JNU Act.”

The teachers said that the JNU Act mandates that the university administration must ensure and protect voices and spaces of dissent, free expression and critical thinking. But time and again, the JNU administration under the current Vice-Chancellor has proven that its only agenda is to destroy teaching and learning in the university.

The ongoing strike, among other issues, was called to oppose the new admission policy rolled out by the administration.

Admission policy

The students and teachers have said that the new admission process was in gross violation of the JNU Act. It was causing a seat cut and was against the violation of constitution’s mandated reservation in admissions.

The administration said that the online entrance examination, to be conducted by the National Testing Agency, was a major initiative to bring about efficiency and transparency in the entire admission process.

The administration said that it was shocked to find that the JNUTA office-bearers have registered their opposition to it and have been provoking students to join them in creating confusion and sullying the environment in the campus.

“The hunger strike by a handful of students has been choreographed by the JNUTA office-bearers and the latter’s press notes and letters to faculty members clearly betray their intolerant attitude towards all positive reforms and improvements brought about by the administration,” the university Registrar Pramod Kumar said.

‘Spreading lies’

Mr. Kumar added that the university received ₹19 crore from the UGC recently, which was being utilised to improve the university’s infrastructural and library facilities.

But the JNUTA office-bearers along with a handful of student activists have been spreading lies and rumours that the administration has reduced the annual funds for the library.

“There has been not a single reduction in the seats for MPhil and PhD programmes of study, yet the incessant lies spread by some members of JNUTA only contribute towards tarnishing the university’s image,” Mr. Kumar said.

He added that the current policy of delinking MPhil from PhD programmes will benefit students who could complete their research degrees in time and a shorter duration.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 11:42:20 AM |

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