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JNU emeritus professors concerned over breach of conventions

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Jawaharlal Nehru University's seven emeritus professors today accused its Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar of breaching and ignoring objections of the faculty over the decisions taken by him.

The professors - Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik, Zoya Hasan, Utsa Patnaik, H S Gill, Deepak Nayyar and Anil Bhatti - in a statement said that the decisions taken by Kumar were contradictory to the "established procedures".

"This is not the way has functioned in the past, when the VCs' decisions pertaining to schools and centres followed established procedures and had the support of faculty," they said.

"In the past the have not only protected academic quality, but also ensured academic autonomy in its functioning," they said, adding that Kumar ignored objections from the faculty.

The vice chancellor was accused of breaching convention by appointing a professor as the dean of the School of Social Sciences by superseding five seniors.

"No VC has in the past repeatedly gone against procedures of functioning. This is far too arbitrary an action to be passed over lightly," the statement read. It said that this was one among several arbitrary actions taken over the past two years.

The case of Prof Nivedita Menon, who was removed from the chairpersonship of the Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory recently for alleged misbehaviour, was also mentioned in the statement.

On October 3, two leading academics in a letter sought President Ram Nath Kovind's intervention in restoring the "atmosphere of healthy debate in JNU".

The letter was accompanied by a petition signed by 1,800 academics from globally-reputed universities such as the Harvard and the Columbia, artistes and lawyers among others.

Teachers Association, the previous and the present office-bearers of the Students Union have been protesting against the VC for breaching on several matters.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 05 2017. 17:22 IST