JNUTA position on the Agenda of the 143rd Academic Council

At the outset, we would like to express our surprise that despite the orders by the Division Bench of the Delhi Hugh Court maintaining a stay on the judgment given by Justice V. Kameshwar Rao in Shubhanshu Singh & Ors. v. JNU, there is not even a single agenda item for a meeting in which the power of the AC to determine the admission policy and intake for the 2017-18 admissions will be exercised. As of now, JNU has no admission policy, as the ‘policy’ the VC put into force on 21 March 2017 no longer holds, flowing as it did entirely from that now-stayed judgment. The 143rd AC must be the venue where a new schedule for admissions, determination of intake, deprivation points, format for admission policy, etc. must be determined; instead, the circulated Agenda is a poorly veiled attempt to get the Academic Council to ratify the arbitrary, illogical, unjust, unjustified and unjustifiable decisions taken vis-à-vis admission made by the university administration. In addition, we are given to understand that many Centres/Schools/ Special Centres have given in specific requests for agenda items pertaining to the calculation of intake and other aspects of the admission policy; we are surprised at their non-inclusion, in an exceedingly unfortunate radical departure from past practice. We demand their inclusion as tabled items as Part of Agenda 3 (iv).

The JNUTA would also like to draw special attention to the fact that given the “stay of the effect and operation of the findings on law of the ld. Single Judge” pronounced by the Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi, the decision to withdraw deprivation points for candidates appearing in the university’s research programmes cannot be maintained. It may be recalled that the 21 March admission policy explicitly cited the ld. Single Judge’s order in withdrawing them – with the judgment stayed, the Academic Council is free to reinstate them. Since then, the acting UGC Chairperson, Prof. V. S. Chauhan has also told the media that it is not at the behest or the approval of the UGC that deprivation points were removed. The JNUTA demands that the restoration of deprivation points be made a tabled Agenda in Part A of the AC meeting.

1) Comments on the Agenda for Part A

a) Despite the statutory lapses pointed out to the university in Shubhanshu Singh & Ors. v. JNU, Ordinances relating to admission and education of students are being discussed in the Part B meeting rather than Part A. Please move the discussion on the Agenda Items No. 2(6) and No. 6, currently listed in the Part B Meeting Agenda, to the Part A meeting. 

b) The Minutes of the adjourned meeting of the Standing Committee on Admissions on 31.1.17 and 1.2.17 have not been listed for deliberation.

c) The minutes of the Part A Meeting do not reflect the position that JNUTA has taken on various matters at the meeting. We attach JNUTA’s objections to the same once again, so that you may please put them on record during the discussion of item 2.

d) Item no. 2, “Report on Action Taken on the Minutes of the 142nd (A) Meeting of the Academic Council” has many fabrications in it.

  • Item 2.3(i): The 142nd Academic Council did not authorize the Vice-Chancellor to decide the revised schedule of admissions.
  • Item 2.4: The 142nd Academic Council did not conditionally approve the intake for the Academic Year 2017-18, leaving a final decision until a clarification from the UGC was obtained. Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor was not authorised to calculate or approval any change in the intake figures supplied by each Centre/ School/Special Centre. Finally, as the Annexures of the communications between JNU and the UGC annexed at page 5 and 6 of the Agenda of the Part B meeting show, the university never asked or received a specific clarification bout intake.
  • Item 2.5: The 142nd Academic Council approved of the weightage of written and viva voce as 80% and 20% respectively for M.Phil./PhD admissions only. It did not approve them for BA/M.A. admissions alone.
  • Item 2.8: The 142nd Academic Council did not resolve that some unspecified persons/officials/university bodies must revisit the Admission Policy in the light of the UGC Regulations 2016.
  • Item 2.9: The 142nd Academic Council did not resolve make AYUSH P.G. degree holders eligible for direct interview to the M.Phil./PhD programme, but rather granted the degree an equivalence with other MA degrees.

e) Item 3(iv) relies on a fabricated account of the decision to revise intake in the light of the UGC Regulations 2016, as well as fabricated minutes of the 142nd AC, which we have already disputed. Furthermore, it is clear from the communications between the JNU VC and the UGC Secretary, no clarification about intake capacity was ever asked or replied to. Further, there is no justification from the statutes by which the Vice-Chancellor may assume the powers of the Academic Council, by him being its Chairperson.

f) Item 3(v) is also based on a fabricated account of what was decided in the 142nd AC meeting. The 142nd Academic Council approved of the weightage of written and viva voce as 80% and 20% respectively for M.Phil./PhD admissions only. It did not approve them for BA/M.A. admissions alone. Views/comments on this matter from the undergraduate centres were not solicited on the recommendation of the 142nd AC.

2) Comments on the Agenda for Part B

a) Despite the statutory lapses pointed out to the university in Shubhanshu Singh & Ors. v. JNU, Ordinances relating to admission and education of students are being discussed in the Part B meeting rather than Part A. Please move the discussion on the Agenda Items No. 2(6) and No. 6, currently listed in the Part B Meeting Agenda, to the Part A meeting.

b) The minutes of the Part B Meeting do not reflect the position that JNUTA has taken on various matters at the meeting. We attach JNUTA’s objections to the same once again, so that you may please put them on record during the discussion of item 2.

c) Item no. 2, “Report on Action Taken on the Minutes of the 142nd (B) Meeting of the Academic Council” has many fabrications in it.

  • Item 2.1 (Item no. 7): The 142nd Academic Council did not consider the issue of conferment the title of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) on H.E. Dr. Angela “Markel”, but on Angela “Merkel”.
  • Item 2.1 (Item no. 9): The 142nd Academic Council did not resolve by majority that the decision already taken by the Academic Council and approved by the Executive Council on 22.11.2016 shall remain unchanged.
  • Item 2.2: The 142nd Academic Council did not resolve “to approve the Report on Action Taken on the Minutes of the 141st (B) meeting of the Academic Council held on October 7, 2016 and its adjourned meeting held on October 20, 2016”, insofar as no assent was given to the adoption of the UGC Gazette notification. Nor was any decision taken to amend the Statutes, Ordinance, Rules and Regulations regarding the Panel of Experts or confer additional powers on the Vice Chancellor for the same.
  • Item 2.6: The 142nd Academic Council neither discussed nor approved of the approved of any amendments to the M.Phil. and PhD Ordinances.

d) Item No. 3 (viii) “Inscription of unique ID/Aadhaar Number and photograph in Marksheets and Degree Certificates” is in violation orders of the Hon. Supreme Court, by which the Aadhaar scheme “cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other.” (Para 5, Supreme Court Order dated: Oct 15, 2015).

e) Items No. 6 and 7 rely on a fabricated resolution no. 10 of the 141st AC meeting, and have also been challenged in two matters being examined by the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court. They should not therefore should not be discussed.

JNUTA requests that necessary changes to the Agenda be made and it re-circulated as soon as possible.

 

Yours truly,

Ayesha Kidwai              Pradeep Shinde

President, JNUTA          Secretary, JNUTA

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