Press Trust of India|Nov 30, 2023
JNU teachers' association flags decline in proportion of women students in university
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association released a "state of the university" report that alleged the admission system was in a "state of chaos".
NEW DELHI: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA) on Friday released a "state of the university" report that alleged the admission system was in a "state of chaos" and flagged a decline in the proportion of women students. There was no immediate reaction from the JNU administration to the report. The JNUTA, in a statement, said the report lays bare the fact that the process of destruction of the university unleashed from 2016 has continued unabated, even after the change of the vice-chancellor in February 2022.
The proportion of women students in the university has declined sharply and continuously in the last few years, decisively reversing the previous trend of increase. The proportion and numbers of research students has also declined, the statement said. "This destruction involves erosion of the institutional and academic ethos of the university and the undermining of its role as a promoter of social equity – the hallmarks of the university which were integral to establishing it as a premier higher education institution," it added.
The academic expenditures which are critical for the teaching-learning and research processes in the university have seen a precipitous decline in the last few years, it said. Alleging that JNU continues to function with the top-down model of university governance introduced during the tenure of the previous VC, the report said that chairpersons and deans continue to be appointed by the VC in "violation of the institutional norm of rotation by order of seniority". The teachers' body also claimed that the meetings of statutory bodies like the academic and executive councils are conducted only online, are usually of very brief durations, and not to deliberate on issues but merely to rubber-stamp decisions already made.
"Flouting of statutory norms and undermining of the role of centres in the faculty recruitment process has become routine and several candidates have been denied a fair opportunity. Reservations in recruitment are also not being implemented properly with disproportionately large number of vacancies where no selection is made being ones where they are reserved," it alleged.
The admission process is in a state of chaos and the university is operating with three different academic calendars because of the insistence on outsourcing entrance examinations to the National Testing Agency (NTA). "Even though the promotion process did resume in 2022, several promotions of faculty have been arbitrarily kept pending and there is no sense of urgency in eliminating the huge backlog that exists. Legitimate rights are also being denied in the process of promotions and even many of promotions granted have involved such 'sacrifices'," the statement added.
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