Published: 02nd September 2019
No move to discontinue anyone's professor emeritus status: Union Higher Education Secretary tweets on Romila Thapar row
JNU registrar Pramod Kumar last month, reportedly, wrote to 87-years-old Thapar and asked her to submit her bio-data
Union Higher Education Secretary R Subrahmanyam clarified in a tweet Sunday that by asking for emeritus professor Romila Thapar's bio-data the Jawaharlal Nehru University was only following the provisions of an ordinance and that there was "no move to discontinue anyone's professor emeritus status". The university has asked notable historian Romila Thapar to submit her bio-data so that the varsity can check and decide if she could continue as professor emerita in the institution.
"Discussed with the JNU Vice-Chancellor about the controversy regarding professor emeritus status in JNU. There is no move to discontinue professor emeritus status to anyone, especially respected academicians; only provisions of ordinance are being followed," Subrahmanyam tweeted.
JNU registrar Pramod Kumar last month, reportedly, wrote to 87-years-old Thapar and asked her to submit her bio-data so that a "committee appointed by the university could evaluate" her work and decide whether she should continue as professor emerita. Thapar later confirmed it to the media, through an email.
The publication of the report had the JNU administration at the receiving end of criticism. But the Secretary's clarification by the evening helped subside the issue.
An expert in the history of early India, Thapar was a professor at JNU between 1970 and 1991. In 1993, she was named professor emerita. A recipient of the prestigious Kluge Prize of the US Library of Congress, Thapar has also authored numerous books.
Criticising the move, one senior faculty said, "This is a purely politically-motivated action. Professor Thapar is a strong critic of policies of privatisation of education, erosion of autonomy of institutions and crushing of dissent by institutions, including the JNU."