Education ministry extends JNU V-C Jagadesh Kumar’s term
New Delhi: The union education ministry on Friday allowed Jawaharlal Nehru University vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, whose term was going to end on January 26, to continue in his position “until further orders”.
HT had reported on Friday that Kumar’s term was likely to be extended since the the appointment process for the new V-C has been delayed.
In a letter addressed to JNU Registrar, union secretary to the government of India PK Singh wrote, “The undersigned is directed to refer to the subject mentioned above and to say that the incumbent V-C of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Prof Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, whose five-year term is to complete on 26.01.2021 is allowed to continue in the office, notwithstanding the expiry of the tenure till his successor is appointed and enters upon office in terms of provisions of statue 3(4) of JNU Act, 1966 of until further orders.”
JNU registrar Pramod Kumar confirmed receiving the letter from the ministry on Friday. Despite repeated attempts, the V-C did not respond to calls and texts sent for his comment.
Kumar’s tenure as JNU V-C had been marked by several protests and controversies, including the 2016 sedition row, and protests on hostel fee hike which was followed by an attack on campus by a masked mob in January 2020, which had left several students and teachers injured.
The Union education ministry, last October, had released an advertisement inviting applications for the position of vice-chancellor and, later, a three-member search panel was constituted to look after the recruitment process.
JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) said the ministry’s decision to extend the current vice chancellor’s tenure was “shocking”.
“It has been over three months since the advertisement was released. A search committee is already there and still, a new V-C cannot be appointed by the government. It clearly shows that Kumar is close to the present government. We are trying to meet the education secretary to discuss this issue,” said Moushumi Basu, secretary, JNUTA.
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