JNU teachers allege varsity passed decisions without consulting them
The Jawaharlal Nehru University teachers association (JNUTA) alleged that the administration on Monday conducted a meeting of the executive council (EC) — the highest decision-making body of the university — and passed several “controversial decisions”, including a reduction in financial assistance to students to attend seminars, without any discussion.
In a statement, the teachers’ body said, “JNUTA has learned as to how the vice-chancellor literally rushed through the agendas, which contained important items, without allowing some of the elected representatives a chance to speak...While the autocratic style is unethical by itself, the fact that it is being done by a vice chancellor whose term is officially coming to an end, renders it all the more troubling.”
JNU vice chancellor Jagadesh Kumar’s term is ending on January 26 officially. Despite several attempts, Kumar did not respond to calls and texts.
The elected teacher representative of the executive council, Atul Sood, also wrote a letter to his colleagues alleging that the microphones of all members were muted by the chat admin. “The only way for any member to speak, or even to communicate his/her desire to speak to the chair, was to raise his/her hand in front of the camera. Our hands were ignored for virtually every agenda item by the chair in both the meetings held so far.”
Sood alleged that several decisions were passed without any discussion and debate. “The controversial decisions that impact the future of the students and teachers of the university include approval of utilization of corpus fund, by which the head ‘participation by faculty in seminars’ has been cut back by three-fourths, support to EWS students is reduced by two thirds, and financial assistance to students for participation in conferences is reduced across schools from 50 to 80 per cent. Since no discussion is permitted, we could not even raise the issue of how these funds can be used for providing support to needy students to improve access to online education,” he said.
A senior official at the university said, “Some people were trying to disrupt the meeting and were raising topics other than the agenda items. That’s why some people were muted. Besides, all these decisions they are talking about were not on the agenda.”