Interviews for appointing about 300 teachers in JNU have started and the number of enrollments in MPhil and PhD programmes in the forthcoming academic session will be more than last year, government said on Wednesday.
Responding to a Zero Hour mention in the Rajya Sabha by senior JD-U member Sharad Yadav, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said vacancies of lecturers in the SC/ST and physically challenged categories in JNU have not been filled for years.
“Now the process and interviews have started. In a couple of months, 300 lecturers and professors would be appointed and if there were 970 MPhil and PhD students last year, then the number this year will be more,” he said.
Raising the issue, Yadav said students from rural and far-flung areas of the country come to JNU for studies.
But the number of enrollments in MPhil and PhD courses have been come down from 970 to 102 and as a result students were desperate, he said.
As members tried to raise questions following Javadekar’s statement, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said “I have no reason to disbelieve what the minister has said.”
JNU students have been agitating against the new admission policy at the varsity and had also gone on a day-long strike to protest the “massive seat cuts” in MPhil and PhD courses.
The varsity released its prospectus last month suggesting seat cuts in the MPhil/PhD programmes across different courses in line with the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.
The Delhi High Court had dismissed the plea by some students challenging the JNU admission policy for MPhil and PhD courses, saying the UGC guidelines for these courses are binding on all varsities, paving the way for the university to begin its admission process.