Amid protests from students and teachers , Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Executive Council (EC) passed a UGC notification, already approved by the Academic Council (AC), that says the entrance exam to research courses has only “qualifying” weightage.
The EC meeting held on Tuesday passed almost all agenda items already approved in a previous Academic Council meeting held on December 26.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) gazette notification on eligibility and procedure for admission to M.Phil and PhD courses says the entrance test is only qualifying and students have to score a minimum of 50% marks. The merit list will be prepared based on the interview.
The JNU students’ union (JNUSU) and teachers association (JNUTA) held a protest outside the EC meeting venue demanding that the December 23 and 26 AC meeting be reconvened. They said rules were not followed while approving the notifications.
Amid these demands, the university decided to form a committee to address concerns. “A committee will be formed to look into the concerns raised by students and teachers over the UGC notification. The university has followed a system, which is considered inclusive by many. We will talk to UGC and try to continue with the system we have,” said an EC member.
But the member pointed out that the UGC notifications were mandatory on all central universities. “If UGC allows us to continue with our system then we will. But as of now the notification is mandatory in nature,” the member said.
Under the current system, students have to score in both the written exam and interview. The written test carries 70% weightage and the viva-voce 30%, officials said.
The EC meeting cleared a greater say to the vice-chancellor in appointment of faculty members. The V-C can now nominate experts of his choice to selection committees.
The move, many AC members had said, was not approved by the body in the previous meeting.
“This was also approved by EC but anyway the V-C has always had power to nominate members to the selection committee panel,” an official said.
An AC member said under the existing system, each centre and school of the university submits a list of experts approved by the AC and selection committees are formed after picking names from the panel. “The VC has to pick names from the panel approved by the statutory bodies,” said Vikas Rawal, an AC member.