In the past year and a half, the JNU community has been subjected to a persistent harassment never before witnessed in the history of this University. A Vice-Chancellor who works against the interests of the University instead of promoting the welfare of the community and the academic well-being of the teachers and students must be made accountable to the University. Rather than functioning on the basis of consultative and collective decision making, the Vice Chancellor is running the university as a personal fiefdom. The university administration has adopted a highly objectionable tone in the day to day communication with the Deans, Chairpersons, wardens and the larger JNU community. Threats are issued routinely to follow diktats within unrealistic time frames. Here below are listed some of the issues that require our urgent attention.
Unprecedented assault on the teaching community
Over the last few months, the teaching community has been under attack by the current administration. Charges are levelled against individual teachers, always insinuating that they have in some way or the other attempted to work against the interests of the University. This targeting manifests itself in different forms including denial of promotion, harassment on the basis of false and fictitious charges, removal from different committees and administrative positions. In some cases, the administration has even gone to the extent of terminating, or threatening to terminate, the service of a teacher. Rules regarding service conditions are being re-visited and arbitrarily interpreted and changed. In the matter of appointment of wardens, the Vice Chancellor has been unilaterally appointing wardens, usurping, as per the statutes, the authority of e provost. Many serving warden colleagues have been summarily removed, or asked to vacate the warden flat, causing great inconvenience to them and their families.
Blatant Subversion of Executive Council, Academic Council and the all other academic bodies.
The improper counting of the past service is just one such matter. Despite the approval by the Executive Council on the mode of counting past services, and the endorsement by the IQAC, the administration has, by deliberately misrepresenting the UGC notification, denied the legitimate counting of previous service in different institutions before employment at the JNU. The selective use of this strategy to coerce and intimidate colleagues and to deny them the opportunity of promotion is particularly condemnable.
Equally serious is the issue of the presentation of fabricated minutes of the Academic Council to the Executive Council. Successive Academic Councils have witnessed a complete vitiation of proceedings, in which members are not allowed to speak, and the deliberations that take place are not reflected in the minutes. The minutes of all statutory bodies are routinely fabricated.
Lies, fabrication, misinformation and leaking confidential matters to the media
Rather than protecting the interests of the university, the Vice Chancellor and his team are overtly and covertly contributing to defaming the university. A national newspaper recently claimed that they had in their possession 30 answer scripts from the 2016 JNUEE. How did they get them remains the matter of serious concern. Instead of enquiring into this leak, this administration is shamelessly continuing to pass on the wrong information about the evaluation process and trying to falsely implicate a prominent Centre of the university
Abrogating the powers of the Selection Committees
In the constitution of many Selection Committees, the Vice Chancellor has contravened the Statutes of the University and the UGC 2010 Gazette Notification (binding on the university) and added experts of his personal choice. (Three experts in the concerned subject nominated by the Vice-Chancellor out of the panel of names approved by the relevant statutory body of the University.) The job of the selection committee has to be above reproach, this does not appear to be the case under the current dispensation.
Illegally changing the admission policy
The administration has ended the system of deprivation points in the admission to the research programmes, when there was nothing in the UGC 2016 Regulations to warrant this removal. The university is in violation of the Ajay Hasia judgment of the Supreme Court, by which marks for a viva voce cannot ever be 100%. The university is also in violation of the constitutional provisions of having differentiated pass marks for different categories of students. All this has been done falsely in the name of decisions of the Academic Council, when in fact the 142nd and 143rdACs did not even discuss these proposals.
Destruction of University’s research program through seat cut
The unilateral imposition of the 2016 UGC notification by the VC has led to a massive seat cut in admissions to research programmes across the University. This seat cut is in violation of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservations) Act of 2006 in which the minimum intake must be frozen at the intake of the 2006 +54%. With reduction in seats in most Centres, the proportion of seats reserved for marginalised communities has virtually been reduced to zero.
The JNUTA GBM needs to deliberate on all these issues, formulate a collective position, and decide a course of action to save the university from this autocratic and partisan administration. The latest attempt at militarising the peaceful teaching and studying members of this community and once again casting them as anti-national and hence the need to teach them ‘patriotism’ is yet another blow to academic freedom. The amount of money that is spent on grand spectacles, blatantly ignores the much-quoted fund crunch when it comes to spending on the academic programmes of the University.
All colleagues are requested to attend the GBM on August 1, at 4 pm in the JNUTA Office. Secretary’s and Treasurer’s reports for 2016-17 will also be presented in the GBM.