The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association is deeply distressed at the continuing impasse in the University. Pursuant to its appeal on 13 February to the Vice-Chancellor to initiate a dialogue with the students, JNUTA has through the last week requested a meeting with him to discuss the situation on campus, but has not even received the courtesy of a reply. It has also spoken daily to the students worried about their future and that of the university about the concerns that the teachers, staff, and officers have at restoring the smooth functioning of the University administration building.
There is no law and order situation in JNU and classes are taking place as usual. There are however serious differences that the teaching and student communities have with the administration over the admission policy to be adopted for 2017-18, the legality of the UGC Regulations 2016, and the issue of intake. These can and should be addressed by discussion in a reconvened 142nd Academic Council meeting. But not only has the Vice Chancellor refused to enter into a dialogue with teachers or students, the university community has learnt on the 17th that an FIR has been filed against a large body of students. This has been followed by a provocative press release on the 18th, whose tenor is profoundly unbecoming of an official University communication. Such aggression, when it is the administration’s unilateral decisions bypassing all statutory bodies that have caused panic, is not acceptable.
It appears that the condemnable intention of the University administration is to precipitate a crisis by using the law to intimidate the university community and divert attention from the core issues of admission policy, intake, and the applicability of the UGC regulations to students already enrolled in JNU. The university community must refuse to let this ploy succeed by ensuring that there is no disruption anywhere on the campus. We appeal to all sections to meet the administration’s belligerence with maturity and a clearsighted understanding that it is an enduring unity of teachers, staff, officers and students that can defend JNU from the attacks on its statutes and norms of democratic functioning
Ayesha Kidwai, President JNUTA
Pradeep Shinde, Secretary JNUTA