The students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have termed the move to make entrance test as the only “qualifying” criterion an attempt to change the character of the university.
Under the current system, students have to score in both the written examination and interview. “The weightage for written test is 70% and for viva-voce it is 30%,” an official said.
But now students will have to qualify the entrance test with a minimum of 50% marks and the interview will decide the merit list.
The move comes amid demand from students union to decrease the weightage given to the interview.
“What needs to be underlined is that University Grants Commission gazette notification of 5th May is not even a “guideline”, but a straightjacket which directs all universities to conduct qualifying exams for MPhil and PhD courses in two levels, with viva having become the sole criterion for deciding the merit list. The modus operandi of V-C is clearly a ploy to push through the Hindutva agenda of RSS-BJP in the university,” JNU Students Union said in a statement.
“The constitutional mandate to ensure access to higher education for the socially disadvantaged group has been successfully met by the present JNU model. So any new proposal which can fundamentally alter the composition of JNU has to take place through debate and discussion,” said Atul Sood, professor at the School of Social Sciences.
On Monday, the Academic Council (AC) approved a University Grants Commission (UGC) gazette notification on eligibility and procedure for admission to MPhil and PhD courses, amid protests from students and teachers.
Sachidanand Sinha, professor at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development said, “In the last academic council it was decided that a status quo will be maintained. But in the minutes of the meeting the language has been changed and the administration cannot be doing so. It is an undemocratic way of taking the academic council meeting. Such decisions will destroy the institutional character of JNU.”