JNUTA slams proposal on HEFA loan

Association observes one-day strike against university administration

August 01, 2018 01:49 am | Updated 01:49 am IST - Sidharth RaviNew Delhi

 Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association members during the one-day strike against the administration on Tuesday.

Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association members during the one-day strike against the administration on Tuesday.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) observed a one-day strike against the university administration on Tuesday.

“The administration is run like a mafia. The Academic Council is a farce,” said Ranjani Mazumdar, a Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics.

‘Stage managed’

In a statement, the JNUTA claimed that the Academic Council meetings, where recent decisions like mandatory attendance for students and teachers were taken, were “stage managed, with dissenting voices being silenced”.

JNUTA secretary Sudhir Sutar said, “The Vice-Chancellor fills the meetings with his supporters.”

It was also alleged that issues that are neither on the agenda nor tabled are passed at these meetings.

The association also took exception to the proposed ₹515-crore loan from the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).

“It will leave the university indebted for life...This is an attempt at back door privatisation of the institution. JNU has been a great experiment for the last several years, where people from diverse backgrounds can get quality education for very little money,” said Prof. Mazumdar

The JNUTA statement also took issue with the recent “autonomous” status awarded to the university, online entrance exams, “regimentation and bureaucratisation of academics”, the university’s intellectual property rights policy and “wastage of public funds over unprecedented levels of litigation”.

The strike marks the beginning of a series of events the association will be holding over the next few days, detailing the various “transgressions” committed by the administration.

It will culminate on August 7 with a faculty referendum on whether the V-C should be removed and whether “the university should be burdened by the HEFA loan”.

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