JNU teachers body writes to chancellor Kanwal Sibal over absence of consultation
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) said the absence of broad-based consultation has undermined democratic functioning and fostered administrative hubris
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) has written to the varsity’s newly appointed chancellor, Kanwal Sibal, over the absence of broad-based consultation, due deliberation, and proper application of mind in the decision-making processes amid reliance on online meetings.
“That all meetings are held online and are usually very short is symptomatic of a larger malaise that afflicts JNU’s governance today – the absence of broad-based consultation, due deliberation and proper application of mind in the decision-making processes, which has undermined democratic functioning and fostered administrative hubris and lack of accountability,” JNUTA said in a letter dated December 1.
HT reached out to Sibal for a comment but he was immediately unavailable.
JNUTA said meetings of JNU’s statutory bodies have been held online mode since April 2020 even as the Covid-19 pandemic is over. “We are deeply saddened that even this historic occasion, the 50th meeting of this August body and the first to be chaired by you, is being held online without any legitimate basis.”
The letter referred to “violations” in the faculty appointments and promotions under the Career Advancement Scheme. It added over 75% of associate professors were awaiting promotion to professorship. The letter added more than 85 assistant professors eligible to be appointed either as professors (with more than 15+ years of service) or associate professors (with more than 12+ years of service) are awaiting their stage promotions.
The letter also flagged a significant drop in academic expenses in the financial year 2022-23. It said the figure stood at ₹17.69 crore even though it was normally upwards of ₹30 crore in past years since 2012-13. In 2017-18, it touched a peak of ₹38.37 crore.
The letter cited JNU’s annual report for 2022-23 and added the proportion of women students was just 43%, against 51.4% in 2017-18. “This disturbing trend has not even evoked any serious discussion, let alone a clear diagnosis of its causes and corrective measures.”