The JNUTA is extremely pleased to learn that the Rajya Sabha is,on 11 April 2017, to debate and vote on the following two motions.
The JNUTA appeals to all members of the Rajya Sabha to extend their support to these motions, as both seek to undo a terrible wrong that is being done to all universities in India, not just JNU (which is but the first victim). These Regulations, in their present form, must be rejected because they result in a conflict of law.
The UGC Notification 2016 under reference stands in violation of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 (henceforth CEI Act) by linking seats for admission (intake) with an arbitrary and unreasonable cap imposed on supervisor- student ratio vide Clause 6.5 of the UGC Notification 2016,which states: “A Research Supervisor/Co-supervisor who is a Professor, at any given point of time, cannot guide more than three (3)M.Phil. and Eight (8) Ph.D. scholars. An Associate Professor as Research Supervisor can guide up to a maximum of two (2) M.Phil. and six (6) Ph.D. scholars and an Assistant Professor as Research Supervisor can guide up to a maximum of one (1) M.Phil. and four (4) Ph.D. scholars.”
This clause has already led to a massive 83% cut in seats for admissions into the research programmes of JNU, and is therefore in conflict with S. 5 of the CEI Act: “Mandatory increase of seats: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (iii) of section 3 and in any other law for the time being in force, every Central Educational Institution shall, with the prior approval of the appropriate authority, increase the number of seats in a branch of study or faculty over and above its annual permitted strength so that the number of seats, excluding those reserved for the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, is not less than the 4 [number of such seats available or actually filled, whichever be less,] for the academic session immediately preceding the date of the coming into force of this Act. In other words, the 54% increase of seats over the 2006 intake, as adopted by Central Universities following the CEI Act 2006, cannot be reversed, and any reduction below the 2006+54% level is patently illegal.
In JNU, and other universities that honestly implemented the CEI Act, the rise in supervisor-student ratios was exclusively a result of the 54% increase that was mandated upon by the CEI Act. In the years between 2008-2011, when JNU faculty strength was actually declining rather than growing, the CEI Act ensured that intake could not be decreased.
Second, the “mandatory” nature of the UGC guidelines must not nullify the autonomy of Universities to ensure high standards and inclusive higher education. It should be clarified that UGC’s guidelines on minimum standards while mandatory also hold that “…universities are autonomous institutes and have necessary freedom to… adopt practices which they consider appropriate for promoting excellence, and equal access within the broad framework of national clarified that UGC’s guidelines on minimum standards while mandatory also hold that “ universities are autonomous institutes and have necessary freedom to… adopt practices which they consider appropriate for promoting excellence, and equal access within the broad framework of national policy. The 2016 Notification does not allow autonomy to Central Universities to determine their intake, modes of supervision, nature of research programme, entrance examination, academic freedom to choose topics of research/supervisors and to allow their existing programmes the autonomy to determine how to implement the UGC notification.
Third, they impose an unreasonable and unfair method of determining eligibility and entrance examination, where the entrance test is merely a qualifying examination and the viva voce is weighted at a 100%.
Please find attached a detailed note on all these and other aspects here. memorandum to HRD Minister
We also request you to seek an assurance from the HRD Minister that these UGC Regulations 2016 will not be implemented in any admissions in any university for the 2017-18 academic year.
Ayesha Kidwai Pradeep Shinde