Published: 24th December 2021
Is JNU really weeding out the marginalised from its PhD programmes? JNUTA allege lack of transparency and inclusivity
JNUTA said that a university-wide consultation should be initiated to help evolve guidelines for conducting viva voce and evaluating the performance of applicants
After a series of allegations about discrepancies in the PhD admission process of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were made, the varsity proceeded to categorically deny any such incident. But the professors are not happy with this. The JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) on December 24 said that outright denial is not the solution.
JNUTA Secretary Dr Moushumi Basu noted that the student demography has changed ever since the new admission process has seen a revamp. "First of all, the MCQ (multiple choice question) tests don't help at all. Most of the students now come directly from their MA courses and have no initiation about how to even write a proposal, but they are required to write one. The student demography has also changed after the deprivation points were removed. We now get more students from well-to-do metropolitan families and fewer from marginalised backgrounds. This is not something JNU should be proud of," she added.
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JNUTA said that a university-wide consultation should be initiated to help evolve guidelines for conducting viva voce and evaluating the performance of applicants in a fair manner. "At the moment, there are no clear guidelines in the university about how the interview boards should be constituted and how the candidates should be evaluated. There have been allegations that in some centres chairpersons have unilaterally taken decisions about the process to be followed, indicative of prima facie evidence of unfairness in the selection process," said the teachers and demanded that the university administration make public all data regarding the marks scored by various candidates.
Dr Basu added that it is the amalgamation of everything — from removing the deprivation points to MCQ questions to handing over the exams to the National Testing Agency (NTA) — that has caused this alleged fiasco and the lack of transparency.