JNU EC approves registrar's appointment, says was according to varsity norms
The JNU Executive Council on Friday said Professor Anirban Chakraborty was appointed registrar according to university norms, but a few faculty members tried to "manufacture a controversy" over it.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar had appointed Chakraborty, a former dean of the School of Computational and Integrative Sciences, as registrar on March 17, following which the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) alleged that there was no Executive Council (EC) meeting to deliberate on the matter.
There was also no EC meeting where "approval for this decision has been specifically sought", the association had said, adding that it is "an apt example of administrative overreach".
The EC in a statement after its 294th meeting on Friday said a "few faculty members of JNU have tried to manufacture a controversy over an appointment which is otherwise a routine process", and added that the council has approved the appointment of Chakraborty as registrar.
"This appointment was in accordance with Statute 8(2) of JNU which states that 'When the office of the Registrar is vacant or when the Registrar is, by reason of illness or absence for any other cause, unable to perform the duties of his office, the duties of the office shall be performed by such person as the vice-chancellor may appoint for the purpose," it said.
The EC added that Chakraborty will hold the office of the registrar until a new registrar is appointed for which an advertisement has already been issued.
Citing Statute 8(1), the JNUTA had said that the "registrar shall be appointed by the Executive Council" and "shall be a whole-time salaried officer of the university".
On January 22, the Union education ministry had allowed Kumar to continue in the office of vice-chancellor, beyond the expiry of his term, till a successor is appointed. Kumar's five-year term as vice-chancellor had ended on January 26.
In response to the EC's statement, the JNUTA alleged that agenda of the meeting was changed twice in response to letters written by the teachers' union.
"It was only yesterday evening that the matter of the registrar was brought up as part of the additional agenda. So the university must explain their misdeed and miss appropriation," a JNUTA member said.
Besides approving Chakraborty's appointment, the EC also cleared a recommendation by the university's Finance Committee (FC) to not charge hostel fees for the monsoon semester-2020 from students who did not stay in the hostel in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also approved the recommendation of the FC to explore the possibility of outsourcing some services in the hostels, including inter-hostel administration, sanitation, gardening, and engineering, through the Facility Management System.
"However, it has been underlined that hiring of staff on outsource basis through various agencies, as per the Facility Management System should be subject to the condition that the new system should be cost effective and there would be adequate saving of funds," the EC said.
The council also approved a placement policy that will enable students to interact with prospective recruiters and help them find jobs in their final semesters before they pass out from the university.
A decision was also taken to name a few halls in the School of Engineering (SOE) and Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship (ABVSME) after eminent personalities -- J C Bose Hall, Janaki Ammal Hall, Ramanujan Hall for School of Engineering and Sabari Hall and Kautilya Hall for ABVSME.