Just a few days ahead of the 143rd Academic Council on 9 May, fiffy members of Academic and Executive Council of Jawaharlal Nehru University have written to the Registrar rejecting the claim that the university’s 142nd Academic Council had approved substantial amendments to its Ordinances. The letter by the faculty says:
We, the undersigned members of the Academic Council, place on record our objection to the circulated Amendments to the Ordinances relating to the award of the degree of MPhil/PhD (as circulated vide Assistant Registrar’s (Evaluation letter dated 21 April 2017, No. Eval. I/3(43A)/2017). These illegal ‘ordinances’ have never been discussed or approved by the Academic Council (AC) in either its 141st or 142nd meetings, and none of us have conveyed our assent, explicitly or implicitly, to these Ordinances. We request you to place this letter before the Executive Council for its consideration.
The JNUTA reiterates its rejection of these Ordinances, as their ratification by the JNU Executive Council was based on false and fabricated minutes of the 142nd AC meeting. These Ordinances must be immediately withdrawn in JNUTA’s opinion, for the following reasons:
- The 267th EC was made aware by elected representatives of the faculty that Resolution 6 of the 142nd AC had no basis in fact, as these amendments to the Ordinances had not been discussed or approved by members of the 142nd AC. Faced with this information, the EC should have recognised, following Statute 36.2, that no draft of the Ordinances had been proposed by the Academic Council. It should have, in that case, sent the ‘Ordinances’ back to the Academic Council for discussion.
- Even if the 267th EC was misled into believing that the draft Ordinances were legitimately proposed by the AC, by Statute 36.3, it could not have made amendments to them. This statutory provision states that “The Executive Council shall not have power to amend any draft proposed by the Academic Council under clause (2) but may reject the proposal or return the draft to the Academic Council for reconsideration, either in whole or in part, together with any amendments which the Executive Council may suggest.” In violation of this statute, the EC did not return the draft Ordinances to the AC.
- Most shockingly, in the notified Ordinances, a number of changes have been made – whole clauses inserted, words and phrases reworded and the text reorganised –even after the version ‘approved’ by the 267th EC. These egregious violations are not, of course, sanctioned by any statute, and may amount to serious misconduct by one or few officials of the university. The entire range of additions, omissions, and addirions can be found here, but as an example consider one addition made in the M.Phil. Ordinances:
The gross negligence, complete lack of unaccountability and undoing of decades of democracy and transparency is both saddening and worthy of condemnation, as this shows that the university is now being run by ‘administrators’ who are either too inept or unethical to be bothered by trifling values such as fidelity to the the truth.
Ayesha Kidwai Pradeep Shinde