JNU not filling up research seats, say teachers who smell a rat | delhi news | Hindustan Times
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JNU not filling up research seats, say teachers who smell a rat

The JNUTA alleged this difference is mainly because the administration is arbitrarily making up rules and misinterpreting the UGC gazette notification of 2016.

delhi Updated: Aug 05, 2017 23:05 IST
A Mariyam Alavi
The JNUTA alleged this difference is mainly because the administration is arbitrarily making up rules and misinterpreting the UGC gazette notification of 2016. The UGC notification had created unrest among the students and faculty, as it had allegedly led to an over 80% cut in research seats at the university.
The JNUTA alleged this difference is mainly because the administration is arbitrarily making up rules and misinterpreting the UGC gazette notification of 2016. The UGC notification had created unrest among the students and faculty, as it had allegedly led to an over 80% cut in research seats at the university.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) has alleged that a large number of the institute’s research seats advertised for intake have actually not been filled, a claim denied by the university.

Of the 258 PhD, MPhil, PG Diploma, and MTech seats advertised by JNU, the association members analysed the admission process to 139 seats for 18 programmes at six centres and schools.

They found that only 74 offers -- 53% -- had been made even though over 285 students cleared the written tests and 227 students had appeared for the interviews .

The association said it had no data for the remaining number of seats.

The JNUTA alleged this difference is mainly because the administration is arbitrarily making up rules and misinterpreting the UGC gazette notification of 2016.

The UGC notification had created unrest among the students and faculty, as it had allegedly led to an over 80% cut in research seats at the university.

According to the notification, only full-time regular teachers could be research supervisors, and the number of research scholars to be selected to the departments would be based on the number of faculty members in that department. A supervisor was not allowed to guide more than eight research scholars. This essentially limited the number of PhD seats in some institutions, where there weren’t as many full-time regular teachers. It also defined the selection criteria for these seats.

For research seats, students need to qualify a written exam with at least 50% marks to be considered for the second leg of selection process, which is a viva voce. The interview with 100% weightage was to be used to determine the candidate’s “competence for the proposed research,” and would act as the final criteria fro selection.

Data released by the JNUTA on its website (HT has been unable to independently verify it ), in five programmes fewer students cleared the written entrance than the advertised number of seats. These courses include MTech in Computer and Systems Sciences where 20 seats were advertised but only five students cleared the written tests.

“This is mainly because of the ridiculous need for 50% passing mark in the written test. It is far too high... People from OBC, SC/ST categories suffer more because there is no relaxation,” said Ayesha Kidwai, president of JNUTA.

And even of the five who qualified the written test for the MTech programme, only three got offers, according to the data analysed by JNUTA.

“There is no rule that states that there will be passing marks for viva voce too. Nowhere it is said that passing marks in the viva voce will be needed to get a seat. Viva is used to just determine the ‘ranking’ of students to determine who will be given a seat, in case there are more students appearing for the interviews than the number of advertised number of seats,” alleged Kidwai.

In all the other 13 programmes, more students cleared the written test than the number of advertised seats, but in 11 of these programmes offers have not been made to all the seats.

“The aim here seems to be to eliminate students... This comes after an almost 83% seat cut in research programme seats this year,” said Kidwai.

The registrar of JNU, Pramod Kumar, however, maintained that this “was just the observation of one group of people.” “Admissions are still on, and they are being done according to the UGC gazette notifications (of 2016). A second list for admissions will be released soon,” he said.

Kidwai responded by saying that the university was interpreting the notifications to their convenience. “A second list is needed when you do not have students to fill the seats. Here they are deliberately not offered a seat for reasons best known to the university,” said Kidwai.

JNUSU members have also said they may seek legal recourse and take the matter to court, if students are denied seats.