The vice-chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will have a greater say in appointment of faculty members as he can now nominate experts of his choice to the selection committees.
The move, many Academic Council (AC) members said, was not approved by the body in the previous meeting. On Monday, the AC meeting was held after it was adjourned on Friday.
However, university officials claim the V-C has always had the power to nominate members to the selection committee panel. “It was approved by AC and executive council in 1997. It is nothing new. It is wrong to assume that the head of a university will misuse his powers,” said Chintamani Mahapatra, JNU rector.
“Under the existing system, each centre and school of the university submits a list of experts, which is approved by the AC and selection committees are formed after picking names from the panel. The V-C has to pick names from the panel approved by the statutory bodies,” said Vikas Rawal, an AC member.
As per the approved rule, which is being contested by some AC members, “The council authorises the vice-chancellor to finalise the panel of experts for the EC.”
“It simply means that he can give any names he wants to. This government knows the only way to control universities is to tamper with hiring of faculties. They will hire yes man who will implement the agenda of this government,” said an AC member on condition of anonymity.
Some AC members alleged that there are repeated attempts to tamper the minutes of the meetings and it is against procedural norms.
“One of the most alarming insertions to the minutes gave the vice-chancellor powers to manipulate the list of experts for selection committees sent by the centres and schools. This had not been approved by the previous AC meeting,” a statement released by around 20 AC members said.
AC members said that the minutes of the previous meeting that had been circulated contained many errors, misrepresentations, and falsities. “Several of these had been pointed out by members of the Academic Council, including in written representations to the registrar,” the statement said.
But the registrar claimed no written submissions were received and retracted only when copies of such responses were provided to him, members said.
“The V-C abruptly stopped the discussion on this item, refused to accept the removal of the wrongly inserted sentence, and declared the minutes passed,” the statement said.
AC members and students union also pointed that the meeting was conducted during winter vacation, when many people are on leave, despite requests to reschedule the meeting.