Retract letters to Romila Thapar, others: JNUTA

Reacting to Jawaharlal Nehru University explanation for sending out a letter to historian Romila Thapar asking her to submit her CV, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) accused the administration of taking a “politically motivated” move. It demanded that the administration immediately retract such letters sent to 12 Professors Emeriti, besides tendering personal apology.

The university had said it was done with the objective of ascertaining Ms. Thapar’s availability and willingness to continue her association with the university and not to assess her for continuation. However, the JNUTA said the subject line of the letter was offensive as it read, ‘Assessment of Past Work of Professor Emeritus in Jawaharlal Nehru University for the committee to decide on continuation’.

International practices

“The university sought to argue that the process of review of Professors Emeriti was in line with international practices followed at Princeton and MIT. The allusions to those institutions’ rules regarding emeritus appointments were entirely misplaced, as neither mentions any sort of review at the threshold of 75 years of age,” the JNUTA said. It added that it was however, heartened to see that at last international best practices in university governance have surfaced as points of reference for the JNU administration.

The JNUTA advised the administration to consult the rules of top international institutions with reference to its policies of biometric daily attendance for faculty and students, an exclusively online and MCQ entrance examination outsourced to an external agency, repeated retrospective application of rules, irregularities in recruitment and promotion of faculty and several other steps it had introduced.

“The JNUTA hopes that after such an exercise, the administration will learn that a respectful and lawful treatment of faculty, both in service and retired, is the first principle university governance must be founded on,” the teachers’ association said.

Professors H.S. Gill, C.K. Varshney, S.D. Muni, Ashok Sanjay Guha, Asis Datta, R. Rajaraman, Romila Thapar, Yogendra Singh, D. Banerji, T.K. Oommen, Amit Bhaduri and Shiela Bhalla had been sent letters by the varsity administration as they attained the age of 75 before March 31, 2019.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 11:15:35 PM |

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