AS MANY as 36 members of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Academic Council (AC) have written to the Registrar, seeking amendments to the minutes of the 142nd AC meeting held on December 26. The JNU administration had claimed that the AC had adopted the UGC gazette notification of May 2016 — which led to the cut in MPhil and PhD seats — following the 142nd AC meeting.
During the next meeting on May 9, students and teachers had claimed that a “clear majority” had not approved the minutes of the last meeting. The Rector had, however, told The Indian Express that the minutes of the 142nd meeting was passed with just nine dissents.
“We, the undersigned members of the 143rd Academic Council Meeting held on May 9 spoke in favour of amending the minutes to incorporate all corrections/objections to them, whether submitted in advance of the meeting or communicated on the floor of the meeting. Please ensure that our opinion is adequately reflected in the minutes you draw up of the meeting,” the letter to the Rector said.
In a statement, the JNU Teacher’s Association (JNUTA) said the consensus in the AC meeting held on May 9 was that “minutes of a previous meeting must reflect the commonly agreed decisions of the house”, and “if these decisions are felt to be incorrectly reported, then of course, motions to amend them could be moved from the floor”.
“One would expect that the Chair would have called for a vote on a tabled motion to amend the minutes (or moved one of his own asking the house to approve the minutes). However, he did neither and ruled that the minutes were approved and that he would append nine of the many written comments he had received in January as notes of dissent. The substance of these nine colleagues’ objections were never placed before the meeting. Following this ruling, the Vice-Chancellor adjourned the meeting without any explanation,” the JNUTA said.
“This letter by AC members… distances the majority of the house present from the unilateral and autocratic rulings of the Chair…” it added.
JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai has also written to the Registrar, demanding that the unedited raw footage of the meeting be made available to all the 120 AC members. Currently, there are two cases pending in the High Court on JNU’s admission policy and seat cut.