SHUBHDA CHAUDHARY | 23 FEBRUARY, 2020
NEW DELHI: The recent press statement released by Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) has accused the JNU Teachers’ Federation (JNUTF), Cyclops Security and Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) for their alleged role in the January 5 violence in the campus.
Even after 47 days, no arrests have been made so far.
Additionally, the statement questiones the legality of recent faculty recruitments at JNU.
“It has come to the notice of JNUSU that people who were part of the WhatsApp groups that coordinated the violence are now being appointed as Assistant Professors,” the statement read.
The statement also highlights the selection of Renu Sain, who was the allegedly the admin of the WhatsApp group ‘Unity Against Left’, as an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies. After the selection by the committee, the final recruitment of Renu Sain awaits the Registrar’s approval.
Aishe Ghosh, the President of JNUSU also accused the JNU Vice Chancellor of appointing ABVP and RSS activists as Assistant Professors irrespective of being unqualified.
The statement also points at the recruitment of other candidates such as Tapan Kumar Bihari, Jaikhlong Basumatary and Anshu Joshi, who were allegedly involved in mobilizing the mob violence on January 5.
Furthermore, JNUSU has also requested the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) to investigate these recruitment irregularities, thereby signally concrete cases of ‘nepotism’ and ‘corruption’ in the university.
Meanwhile, the members of the JNUTF had been appointed in a prove panel by the Vice-Chancellor to investigate the perpetrators of the recent mob violence. They included Professors such as Santosh Shukla (School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies), Bhaswati Das (Centre for the Study of Regional Development), Mazhar Asif (Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies), Sushant Mishra (Centre for French and Francophone Studies) and Sudheer Pratap Singh Centre of Indian Languages, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies).
Ideologically, the JNUTF has been accused of following the diktats of the VC and strongly opposing the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA), which has massive support of the student community.
The delegitimization of JNUTA by passing a motion in the Executive Council, which stops the usage of their office space as well as staff assistance, is also a matter of concern.
Meanwhile, in January, a petition was filed by two professors, Sucheta Mahajan and Mahalakshmi Ramakrishnan from the Centre of Historical Studies (CHS), School of Social Sciences in the Delhi High Court.
They had questioned the ‘unilateral’ and ‘illegal’ changes in the selection criteria for selecting Assistant Professors in CHS. This move is being considered a blatant opposition to the JNU Act, statutes, ordinances and UGC regulations.
The petition also stated that after the advertisement of vacancies, the selection criteria were ‘diluted’ by removing specializations. Nevertheless, the interviews were conducted on February 11-12, but no selections have been made yet.
In response to this petition, the Delhi High Court issued a stay order at new recruitments. Justice A K Chawla has ordered the JNU to not fill up new vacancies till May 6, the next hearing. An explanation from the university has also been asked.
Another case in January further highlighted how Vice-Chancellor had unlawfully promoted TV Vijay Kumar, the Dean of School of Computer & Systems Sciences (SC&SS). In a petition to JNU’s Chancellor, Rajeev Kumar mentioned how through his RTI, it became apparent how TV Vijay Kumar was promoted from Assistant Professor to Professor within a year.
Last year in November, Saurabh Kumar Sharma, an ABVP activist, was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer & Systems Sciences (SC&SS). Saurabh’s appointment kept him in both reserved and unreserved quotas. Also, he did not have the needed mandatory degree in Computational Statistics.
In a nutshell, such cases of rampant recruitments of unqualified candidates with controversial degrees, ideological leanings and academic pedigree would haunt the intellectual, critical and progressive space of JNU’s campus.