Published: 02nd September 2019
JNU emeritus prof row: Teachers say their dissent on ordinance went unheard
The administration in a note had cited examples of MIT and Princeton University's rules to justify the move but it did not go down well with the teachers
The Jawaharlal Nehru University teachers were present at the meeting that decided on the guidelines that require emeritus professors to be subject to scrutiny after they turn 75. But their voices were never heard, claimed the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA).
The JNU Teachers' Association said that the teachers' representatives who were present at the meeting that passed the ordinance had protested against the move but their voices went unheard. "The Executive Council is full of the VC's handpicked people and the voice of teachers represented through the elected teachers' representatives in the JNU Executive Council are ignored," said JNUTA Secretary and Associate Professor Avinash Kumar.
"If at all the University wants to seek some new information from the professors, then ask for their willingness to continue politely, and not write in a manner as to remove them — aggressively. But they are asking for their CV to review it, belligerently, through an administrative letter from the Registrar," said Atul Sood, President of JNUTA.
The administration in a note had cited examples of MIT and Princeton University's rules to justify the move but it did not go down well with the teachers. "The university's note is wrongly portraying international practice trying to suggest that because MIT and Princeton can do it so we can do it as well. MIT and Princeton have no retirement age, no mention of reviewing CV like JNU did and they have very different grounds, as stated in the University note, to seek information from their emeritus professors. One can only hope that the administration will uphold the principle of international practice in all matters of running this University in the future," Sood added.
The JNUTA also accused the VC of destroying the academic environment in the university. "For the past three and a half years, the JNU VC and his handpicked team on the Executive Council have had only one agenda — to destroy both the legacies and the promise of our university," read a statement by the teachers'association. "The insult to Professor Romila Thapar is just another politically motivated step in this regard, motivated no doubt by the active and steadfast support ad inspiration she has provided to the teachers and students of JNU in their fight to keep the university in line with the vision and ideas embedded into its foundations," it further read.