The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) teachers association has said that cuts in the number of seats in MPhil/PhD seats in colleges affiliated to the varsity are unconstitutional.
“The additional solicitor general had given us an assurance in the court that this provision will not be given retrospective effect. As clarified by the Supreme Court of India, if supervisor caps must be applied they can only constrain a faculty members activity from when they are adopted. Since JNU appears to have adopted them the day it issued the prospectus, no past research supervising activity of any faculty member should be counted,” said Ayesha Kidwai, president, JNUTA.
Another teacher added that there has been such a massive seat cut because the administration has not calculated the outgoing students who will submit their thesis on July this year.
New University Grants Commission (UGC) 2016 guidelines place a cap on the number of research scholars a professor, associate and assistant professor can supervise. The rule has lead to large-scale protests by students of the university.
The numbers of cuts are alarmingly high in some cases. A total of 86% seats were to be cut at the varsity. The School of International Studies shows a cut of 96.29%, the School of Social Sciences, 89.27% and the School of Languages, Literature and Culture Studies 77.71% and Science Schools at 68.78%.
According to the new guidelines, in PhD courses, a professor can supervise a maximum of eight students, and associate professor can mentor six and an assistant professor can supervise four. In MPhil courses, a professor can supervise three students while an associate professor can supervise just two and an assistant professor can mentor just one student.
The introduction of cuts led to large-scale protests by students about two months ago. The students had moved the Delhi high court, but the court quashed the case.