In a referendum held by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) on Tuesday, over 98% JNU students have voted against the change in admission norms carried out by the varsity following directions from the UGC.
JNUSU held the referendum on the imposition of a UGC gazette issued in May 2016 by the administration. Students claimed the administration violated statutory norms and bodies while adopting the gazette.
The referendum was meant to find students’ views on the UGC notification that makes viva the major criteria for admission to MPhil and PhD, and cuts down seats for admission to these courses.
JNU has close to 7,000 students. “A total of 3,455 students participated in it and 98.35% of them voted against the gazette,” a JNUSU statement said.
“We have been consistently demanding a reduction in weightage of viva voce in the MPhil and PhD admissions, pointing out the structural biases embedded in the viva process,” the union said.
Following protests by students, the university decided to take entrance test in two parts with part one being an objective type paper, in which students will have to secure 50%, after which their second paper will be evaluated.
“Eighty percent weightage will be given to the marks secured in the second paper, which will be descriptive, and 20% weightage will be given to viva. This way we will continue with our own admission policy while following the UGC framework,” an official said.
Many students protested against the adoption by the university of UGC notification on December 26, some of whom later went on a hungerstrike intensifying their opposition.
“As many as 3,398 students said no to the new policy, while a mere 45 voted in support. . This shows that JNU students’ community has rejected the new policy,” said Satarupa Chakraborty, JNUSU general secretary.
Nine students were suspended for allegedly disrupting an Academic Council meeting in December last year in which the issue of implementation of UGC gazette was being discussed.
(with agency inputs)