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Unique character of JNU under attack: JNUTA

Unique character of JNU under attack: JNUTA

Porni Banerjee

The members of Jawarharlal Nehru University Teacher’s Association (JNUTA) have declared that the academics of the university have now come under destruction which is unsustainably dangerous for the university adding that the unique character of the institute, consistently ranking first in the country, has been under attack since 2016.

For the first time, the incumbent Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar failed to pay the salary of the professors and other staff for the month of February, said Bikramaditya Choudhary, a faculty member at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development in JNU.

“The vice-chancellor failed to pay the salary of teachers and staff on time. How will the non-teaching staffs who plan their expenditure on the monthly salary manage?” asked Choudhary.

The university pays the salary to the teaching and non-teaching staffs on the last day of every month except March said Choudhary, the former secretary of JNUTA adding that salary for March gets delayed because of taxation issues. He further said there had been several rulings by courts on the payment of salary on time.

Moreover, the association further mentioned that the five year term of the present VC came to an end on January 26. However, on January 22, he was granted permission to continue till a new VC was selected claiming that the scenario would be worse if this continues.

“It’s the VC and not the university that has autonomy in JNU today. Some of the decisions taken arbitrarily by the VC to deliberately weaken the existing system of academic governance,” said Moushumi Basu, JNUTA secretary.

The JNUTA added that the statutory bodies such as the Board of Studies, the Academic Council and the Executive Council were responsible for chalking out the academic calendar, deliberating upon new teaching programmes, finalising courses, selection committee panels etc. However, despite the presence of such bodies, they function in a sub optimal manner.

“The irony is that all these bodies continue to be there, but they function in a sub-optimal manner — important decisions related to the university have been taken without substantial deliberations in these statutory bodies,” the JNUTA said.

It is also learnt that over 150 cases have been filed by various constituencies including faculty, students, non-teaching staffs against the VC and his administration between the period 2016-2021, where Basu added claiming that the university has been found to have committed illegality.

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