Thursday, December 02, 2021

JNU MPhil-PhD seat cut: VC terms students’ agitation ‘criminal act’

The university also released the new admission procedure on its website to argue that the students had “no basis” to continue their agitation.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
February 13, 2017 11:57:41 am

More than 48 hours since the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) students occupied the administrative block, and another group of students called for its blockade over changes in admission policy, the vice-chancellor on Sunday termed the act as “criminal”.

The university also released the new admission procedure on its website to argue that the students had “no basis” to continue their agitation.

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While students and teachers have been arguing that the adoption of the UGC gazette notification of May 2016 would result in a massive seat cut in integrated MPhil/PhD courses, the university has not categorically denied the same.

On the other hand, it released school-wise and faculty wise ‘Tentative vacancies for MPhil/PhD’, with some numbers going in negatives, fanning apprehensions.

In its notification on Sunday, the university clarified that the “existing practice of giving deprivation points by the university to students coming from backward areas of the country will continue” and that it will “adhere to the national level reservation policy as applicable”.

While the notice was uploaded in the name of ‘Clarification from UGC reg MPhil/PhD’, it was signed by Director of Admissions Milap Punia.

According to the notice, entrance tests will now become three-tier with students requiring to only qualify a ‘preliminary examination’ consisting of OMR type questions based on research methodology and domain knowledge. They’ll then have to sit for a descriptive written test and finally appear for viva-voce, the weightage being 80 and 20 percent respectively.

ReadJNU MPhil-PhD seat cut: Students’ Union holds referendum over UGC notification

However, on the matter of intake, the notice says, “The intake in MPhil/PhD will be calculated as per the 2016 UGC gazette notification.” The notification stipulates the maximum number of students a faculty member can guide. In JNU, many teachers exceed the cap.

“Less marks for viva, deprivation points, concessions to OBC , SC and ST categories…All are there. We however will be following the UGC notified upper limits on how many research scholars a faculty can guide. The agitating students have no basis for occupying the admin building, physically stopping the staff & officials from entering the admin building. This tresspassing is criminal and violation of law of the land,” said JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar.

However, Mulayam Singh, one of the suspended students, who’s called for the blockade said, “If there is indeed no seat cut, then why does today’s notification clearly not say that? Why are the number of seats available not mentioned”. JNUSU general secretary Satarupa Chakraborty said, “The so called vacancy list for MPhil/PhD. students published in JNU website clearly shows massive reduction in intake/admissions. Students will continue their mass sit in until the VC answers queries of the students.”

JNU Teachers’ Association President Ayesha Kidwai also said the administration was deliberately creating confusion. “If there are no seat cuts, why isn’t the draft prospectus which has been approved by Centres not out yet?” she said.

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