Prevented from holding meeting on EWS quota, says JNU admin

Claims students, teachers blocked access to venue

Jawaharlal Nehru University administration on Tuesday said that it was prevented from holding an emergency meeting of the Academic Council at the Convention Center as JNUTA office bearers and some “self-styled student leaders blocked the entry to the venue”.

The meeting was called to adopt the ‘Government of India Policy on Reservation for Economically Weaker Sections for admission in Central Educational Institutions’.

The administration had to eventually hold the meeting in an alternative venue and passed the agenda so that the “interest of hundreds of thousands of student aspirants were not hampered by a handful of agitators”.

“The Academic Council meeting was called as per regulations M1-3(2) concerning conduct of meetings of the council which says: The V-C may authorise convening of an emergency meeting of the council at short notice to consider issues of special importance or urgency,” said the university.

The JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA), however, alleged that the meeting was called in violation of the same rule.

Demands rescheduling

The JNUTA organised a protest at the Convention Centre demanding the rescheduling of the meeting and said that more than 20 members of the Academic Council had already written to the Registrar demanding the meeting to be rescheduled.

The members of JNUTA said that the Academic Council is being called only to discuss the adoption of a policy of reservation for EWS, for which the JNU administration has not provided adequate papers. “Agenda papers do not share any information about the sources for providing additional funds for the expansion of infrastructure and faculty and staff strength in case a 25% expansion in admissions are implemented,” the JNUTA said.

It added that unlike what was the case when 27% reservations for OBCs were introduced, the policy of reservation in admissions for EWS flows not from an Act of Parliament but from an Office Memorandum issued by the MHRD and dutifully forwarded by the UGC.

“Urgency cannot be cited as a pretext for short circuiting democratic deliberations on this matter and not discuss in detail how best this new policy may be harmonised with the JNU Act and existing admission policy,” the JNUTA said.

The administration said that JNUTA and JNUSU office bearers are not full members of the Academic Council and are only special invitees. It added that currently, there is no legally notified JNUSU as the elected office bearers have failed to submit their election bills and it is these people who sought to disrupt the meeting.

JNU administration in a statement said that it condemns in strongest terms the behaviour of JNUTA office bearers and the student leaders for their unruly behaviour towards both the external members and the Deans and Center Chairs of the JNU. “They seem to be interested only in creating disruptions in the functioning of the university and damage its good standing in the public eye. The meeting was held at the alternative venue and passed the agenda items after due deliberations and discussions,” said the statement.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:05:40 PM |

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