A group of 90 JNU teachers today claimed that the administration's compulsory attendance move had received support from scientist M S Swaminathan and 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan, among others, a claim denied by the two eminent persons.
A representative of the teachers' group, Prof. Atul Johri, told reporters, "Some of the prominent academicians (who extended support) include agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, (former ISRO chairman) G Madhavan Nair and likes of them."
However, when PTI contacted, scientist M S Swaminathan and his biographer Dr Parasuraman, who are on a visit to Delhi for an event, denied making any such endorsement.
"It is totally unethical if someone is doing it," Parasuraman said.
The issue of compulsory attendance has triggered fresh tussle between the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration and students. The students' union and a section of teachers have opposed the move to make 75 per cent attendance compulsory for students.
The group of teachers, however, quoting the academicians said, "We wish to see JNU as shining and outstanding university. We are hopeful that the students of JNU shall abide by established norms and popular practices. We, therefore, condemn the campaign against attendance."
The group of teachers also accused JNU Teachers Association(JNUTA) of instigating the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) and said, "We appeal that the JNUTA strongly condemns the abominable, destructive behaviour of JNUSU. If JNUTA leadership refuses to condemn and do not refrain from instigating the protests, we will be compelled to stop our fee to JNUTA."
The teachers have also submitted their complaints collectively against the JNUSU to the Vice Chancellor and have demanded appropriate action.
Over 98 per cent of the JNU students who participated in a students unions' referendum on the compulsory attendance initiative voted against the move.
In the referendum this week a total of 4,456 votes have been polled and 4,388 of them voted against the move, while 41 students voted in support and 27 were invalid, a statement issued by the students body said. There are around 8,000 registered students studying in JNU and nearly 6,000 of them stay on campus.
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