Displeased with the revised guidelines for PhD admission, Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) staged a protest outside the office of University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday.
Satarupa Chakraborty, the general secretary of JNUSU, said that the revised guidelines were being misinterpreted by the university.
“Initially, our admission tests had a written and an oral component, with 70% and 30%weightage, respectively. Now, with the revised guidelines, JNU is interpreting the written test as a screening before students are selected for a viva exam. This viva exam will be the final determinant of who will get admitted,” she said.
With written and viva voce exams being treated as independent entities, Chakraborty alleged that only those students coming from elite institutions will get admitted, based on their verbal prowess.
JNUSU has also raised concerns about how with the UGC specifying many research scholars are to be selected to departments based on the number of faculty members in that department, they are essentially limiting the number of PhD seats in some institutions.
“There are departments with just one faculty member. By saying that only eight research scholars are to be selected for each faculty member, there will be a lot of rejections. So, even if we qualify in the admission tests, we may not get seats in some good colleges,” said Chakraborty.
JNUSU has temporarily called off the protest, until after they meet with UGC chairman Ved Prakash. “We need the issue resolved immediately. We are waiting for an appointment with the chairman and will see, after meeting him, what needs to be done,” said Chakraborty.