Two JNU profs barred from uni’s executive council meeting, JNUTA reacts

Written by Sabrang India | Published on: April 4, 2019

The decision to debar statutory members from meetings of these bodies is a gross violation of the statutory provisions.


JNUTA
 
The JNU Teachers' Association accused the varsity's administration of not inviting two executive council members to the emergent meeting of the decision-making body convened on Wednesday.
 
Sources in the administration said an inquiry was ordered in the last executive council meeting against the two professors and that is why they were not invited.
 
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association or JNUTA said professors Sachidanand Sinha and DK Lobiyal were not invited to the executive council meeting.
 
The JNUTA had written a letter in this regard to the administration on March 19.
 
The decision to debar statutory members from meetings of these bodies is a gross violation of the statutory provisions, the JNUTA said.
 
Sources in the administration said the two professors had participated in protest meetings of the JNUTA outside the administration building, which is a forbidden area for protests.
 
Sources said an inquiry was ordered against them in the last meeting in February and till the conclusion of the inquiry they are barred from attending meetings.
 
JNUTA’s statement:
 
The JNUTA condemns in the strongest terms the illegal action of the University Administration in not inviting Prof. Sachidanand Sinha and Prof. D.K. Lobiyal to the 279th (Emergency) Meeting of the Executive Council scheduled today (April 3, 2019, at 11.00 AM).
 
As has been pointed out earlier in the JNUTA letter to the Vice-Chancellor dated March 19, 2019, “membership of teachers to these statutory bodies is determined on the basis of the University Statutes. The Administration or the EC has no power to debar faculty members.” The decision to debar statutory members from meetings of these bodies represents a gross violation of the statutory provisions. Such illegal actions only expose the hypocrisy of the University Administration and prove beyond doubt that for it ‘rules’ have a solitary purpose – serving as instruments of harassment, victimization and stifling of dissent. Indeed, it is rather ironical that the 279th (Emergency) Meeting is taking place in a background where the University Administration has been in recent times pulled up by the Hon’ble High Court on several occasions for failing to comply with the court orders.
 
The recent advertisement put out by the University Administration for Assistant Professors positions also demonstrates the utter disdain the Professor M. Jagadesh Kumar led Administration has for the Act, Statutes and Ordinances of JNU and for the laws of the land. As has been pointed out by the statement issued by elected teachers’ representatives to JNU EC (dated April 2, 2019), officials of JNU have within the four walls of the Administration conjured up a recruitment policy that has absolutely no sanctity. The Administration had earlier rushed into adopting, yet again through an illegal process and without due deliberation in University bodies, the computer-based online entrance examinations in the MCQ format for all disciplines, delinking of M.Phil and PhD and the policy of EWS reservation in admissions laid out in the MHRD Office Memorandum and forwarded by the UGC. The Administration didn’t even pause to consider the legalities involved or even the academic consequences of increasing intake in teaching programmes without any expansion of infrastructure and faculty strength and without any government commitment to provide the financial resources needed for this. This is the same Administration which had savagely cut admissions to research programmes in the name of implementing UGC Regulations and has been violating reservations in admissions for the last two academic years.
 
The policy of implementing EWS reservation in faculty recruitment, however, doesn’t even have the saving grace of deriving its legitimacy from guidelines or regulations of the UGC/MHRD or any law enacted by the Government. The documents referred to in the JNU Advt. No. RC/59/2019 refers only for reservation in direct recruitment to civil posts and services in the Government of India and not to teaching positions in Central Educational Institutions.
 
The JNUTA would also like to point that the Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Teachers Cadre) Ordinance notified in the Gazette of India on 7 March 2019 and the MHRD Notification in under Sub Section (1) of Section 3 of that Ordinance also published in the Gazette on the same day, make no reference to reservations for the EWS category.
 
It clearly demonstrates that the Vice Chancellor in several matters but particularly of appointments has tended to treat the University as his estate where he can usurp all powers to himself beyond the ambit of law and JNU Act.
 
His unilateral decision to impose EWS reservation in teaching posts in JNU is just another example of the same. Even the implementation of the reservation roster is being done in a completely non-transparent manner. All the documents referred to in the JNU advertisement and other relevant documents to expose the illegality of the decision of the JNU Administration are attached.
 
The JNUTA also notes with alarm the fact that the University has also advertised short-term contractual positions for faculty appointments in the Schools of Management and Engineering – which also, in addition, undermines the reservation policy applicable to faculty appointments. The creation of both these Schools had been an outcome of extreme administrative fiat rather than being an organic development and faculty positions were transferred to them from other Centres/Schools.
 
The introduction of contractual appointments in them follows earlier decisions of charging exceptionally high fees to students enlisting in their programmes and special higher rates for guest/visiting faculty of these schools. These together indicate that these two new schools are becoming the model for the direction that JNU and other public universities are being pushed towards Graded Autonomy and HEFA financing. All these clearly are moves towards greater privatisation and making education out of reach for the poor citizens of this country.
 
The JNUTA demands the immediate withdrawal of the illegal and arbitrary actions of the JNU Administration. The JNUTA wishes to remind the Administration and the Vice Chancellor that repeated and varied attempts to intimidate them have not been able to shake the resolve of the teachers of JNU to fight the policy of destruction of the University. Those at the helm of this process of destruction will have to answer for their misdeeds.
 
Atul Sood, President, JNUTA
Avinash Kumar, Secretary, JNUTA
 
With inputs from agencies.