Fight Back “SHUT DOWN JNU- Part II”
Down With Administration’s Shameless Insensitivity Towards Massive Hostel Crisis and Socially Inclusive Policies!
Defeat the Ploy to ‘Push-Out’ Students of SLL&CS!
Reject the Moves to Undermine JNU’s Academic Autonomy!
Fight Saffron Emergency! Defend JNU’s Culture of Protests, Debate and Dissent Against Administration’s Politically Dictated ‘Surveillance-Show Cause-Punishment Raj’!
PROTEST DEMO outside AC Meeting
7 Oct Friday, Convention Centre 1.00pm
Dear Vice Chancellor,
The JNU Administration headed by you has repeatedly served “show-cause” notices to JNU student activists and current and former JNUSU members. You’ve asked activists to ‘show cause’ for burning effigies of Gujarat govt and Gau Goons, for observing May Day with music, for putting up tents and so on. Well, our ‘cause’ we show for these protests – and all our future protests – is simple: we resist communal-Brahminical fascist ideology; we uphold and assert democracy; we assert students’ rights to equitable and inclusive education; we stand with struggling people in our country and all over the world. Our campuses are not gurukuls – education grows best in a soil and climate of democracy and dissent where power enjoyed by faculty and administration is kept accountable. But in turn, we also feel your Administration need to show JNU students some cause for range of arbitrary actions. So, consider this a show cause notice from students to the Administration.
- What is the basis on which the JNU Administration is serving show cause notices to student activists? Why do you think students must seek ‘permission’ to protest against lack of hostels and Gau Goons? Why do you entertain anonymous ‘complaints’ about May Day music or effigy burning of Gau Goons, but take no action on multiple JNUSU letters on a range of student issues, including bureaucratised admission process, violation of reservations for students with disabilities, slow and inefficient hostel allotments, harassment and humiliation of 9B research scholars, arbitrary hostel and mess rules, delay in fellowship disbursal, cut back in journal subscriptions and library facilities?
- Why are you seeking to impose censorship and surveillance on JNU’s culture of public meetings? If you want information on public meetings, why don’t you simply come and attend our public meetings and ask questions, thereby respecting JNU’s democratic ethos? Why act like Big Brother and run the University like a police state?
- Why do you punish students for setting up tents for not having hostels? Can you not see that students are forced into tents because your Administration has failed to ensure hostel rooms for vast majority of JNU students?
- JNU is a University with the highest ranking in the country even according to the Government. It is a University in which students from deprived backgrounds are able to come, and not only survive but thrive. By failing to address the hostel crisis and ensure hostels for all; by failing to address the students’ drop-out rate; by instead seeking to introduce a ‘Push-Out Policy‘ in SLL&CS; by seeking to introduce all sorts of questionable Courses and Centres bypassing JNU’s academic decision-making processes and norms; by failing to fill backlogs in reservations and implementing OBC reservations in faculty positions at all levels; by failing to implement reservations in Direct PhD; are you not undermining and eroding JNU’s academic quality and its inclusive character?
JNU’s residential character is crucial to its academic performance. Planning subways between JNU and IIT is not and cannot be a priority except for a Quixotic Administration. The priority must be to provide hostels. Instead why is the DoS tampering with every existing norms and procedures and unilaterally imposing new ‘rules’ and ‘procedures’ to further harass students?
You are aware that painstaking analysis of data shows huge disparity in viva evaluation, particularly in the marking pattern for SC/ST/OBCs. Subjective biases embedded in any viva evaluation can jeopardize chances of general students as well. In the present framework of 70:30 ratio of written-viva weightage, the extreme marking pattern in the 30% viva holds disproportionate ‘veto’ power over the evaluation in the 70% written exam, so that performance in written is reduced to a mere qualifier and final selection is decided on the basis of viva marks alone. This undermines the objectivity of the admissions process, and also contradicts the Supreme Court decision of 1980 that held that assigning more than 15% weightage to viva would be arbitrary and constitutionally invalid. The last Academic Council meeting in May 2016 saw a considerable degree of agreement on this issue. Why not promptly take the decision to lower the viva weightage?
Why go for ‘Push Out’ instead of addressing ‘Drop Out’ of students in JNU?
Instead of addressing the massive drop-out crisis in SLL&CS, why has the SL administration come up with a policy to further ‘Push-Out’ students from the precincts of JNU with absurdly high arbitrary CGPA criteria to continue in BA and MA in SL? Students had defeated the move to delink the BA-MA programme in SLL&CS. Is this ‘revised Ordinance’ anything but “delinking” by the backdoor?
The proposal is to raise the minimum CGPA for promotion to 2nd year BA from 3.0 to 5.0 in core courses; minimum CGPA requirement for promotion to integrated M.A from 4.0 to 6.0 in core courses; CGPA between 5.0 and 6.0 to be awarded BA Pass degree after three years; and those getting CGPA 6.0 will get BA (Hons) degree only if they decide to discontinue! No BA Degree will be awarded to students who continue to be enrolled in the five year integrated MA programme; the CGPA requirement for obtaining M.A. degree is being raised from 4.0 to 5.0! If we survey the grades obtained by students currently, we will find that virtually 80% of students in some Centres will be evicted if this Ordinance comes into effect! If 80% students are evicted, does the SLL&CS Administration propose to have faculty teach tables and chairs in empty classrooms?
Why has the Administration not undertaken concrete policies suggested by the JNUSU to address large scale drop-out phenomenon? These policies include the provision of repeat/improvement provisions in M. Phil course work with additional semester; improvement provisions after 1st year in BA languages – flexibly adjusting the additional year option available for BA; formation of a committee at each school, comprising of one student councilor, one member from teaching faculty of that school in co-ordination with the equal opportunity office to study the issue of drop-outs in the middle of each semester and presentation of the committee’s findings to the AC/BoS along with the action taken report; also repeat/improvement provisions should be introduced in M.Phil. course work and lowering of stringent CGPA requirements to redress large-scale drop-outs in M.Phil./Ph.D.
In JNU, Muslim students are severely under-represented – with a mere 6-7% representation in schools and centres outside Urdu-Arabic-Persian centres in SLL&CS. The Sachar and Ranganath Mishra committees had recommended corrective measures for such under-representation. Why not enhance JNU’s inclusive character by extending deprivation points to socially and educationally deprived minorities? We feel the 2012-13 RN Menon Committee was abrupt and non-transparent in citing ‘legal opinion’ against such a policy. There is ample ground for affirmative action based on socio-educational backwardness of minorities. Deprivation points are a proven tool of which JNU can be justly proud – why not use this tool to correct a glaring under-representation that is crying out for correction? Why should JNU not show the way forward to address the socio-economic-educational backwardness of the minorities?
Why is your Administration proposing to compromise JNU’s academic autonomy and quality and strain JNU’s existing academic and physical infrastructure by arbitrary proposals of new Centres and ‘Certificate’ type courses, bypassing adequate discussions at all levels and decision-making bodies of the University? The proposal for a Special Centre for Disaster Research has not been vetted by any of the Board of Studies (BoS) of any of the Schools in the University, and is based on a MoU signed by JNU with the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM). This proposal raises concerns about infrastructure as well as academic autonomy.
Has the JNU Vision 2020 document, approved by the JNU Academic Council, not recommended AGAINST setting up of single centre units? Why then is this single-Centre unit being proposed in the name transdisciplinarity?
Should a University like JNU introduce short-term “certificate courses” (as in the Sanskrit Centre) and single-Centre-units without creating fresh infrastructure and appointing sufficient faculty or discussing new academic proposals in University decision making bodies as well as the University community? Without due discussion and deliberation, hustling in such courses and Special Centres can only serve vested interests and undermine JNU’s own academic character.
Why has the supervisor who brutally beat up a security guard some days ago, not been punished yet? Why is JNU leaving its contract workers vulnerable to horrific violence and rights violations? Does your administration see Security Guards simply as instruments for surveillance of students? Do contractualised security, sanitation and other staff not have any rights as workers and human beings?
Why is JNU failing to implement reservations at all levels/cadres of faculty appointments and clear all backlogs in this regard? Why has JNU yet to fulfill OBC reservations fully in faculty appointments in all cadres including in Associate Professors and Professors posts?
In our society, caste, gender and communal discrimination is an ugly reality and our campus can be democratic only if it recognizes and remains alert to prevent and correct such discrimination. Why is your Administration seeking to undermine and weaken the GSCASH? Why does the Administration fail to act against those who openly indulged in hate-speech against Dalits, Muslims, and Kashmiris or against the ‘dossier’ that spread discrimination against students from the North East?
Along with the SC/ST cell and the Equal Opportunity Office, is it not important to have a Minority Cell to deal with the grievances of the students and employees in JNU campus who hail from the religious minority communities?
Above all, why after so many days of a sit-in by the JNUSU and JNU students, has the Administration failed to initiate dialogue with the agitating students?
Dear JNU VC and JNU Administration,
We await a response to all these issues. We await initiatives from you towards talks with JNUSU to address the issues we have flagged. We would like the forthcoming Academic Council meeting to respect and address the issues raised by the students.
We call upon JNU students’ to come forward and resist Shut Down JNU Part-II with as much vigour as the first phase of Shut Down JNU was fought.