JNU has announced massive reduction in student intake in MPhil and PhD courses and scrapped fresh admission in some departments for the upcoming academic session, inviting fresh protests by the student community. According to the details of student intake for the new session announced by the university’s evaluation branch, the prestigious School of Social Sciences (SSS) has reduced 232 seats, followed by School of International Studies (SIS) 141 and School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 73.
The present strength of SSS is 330, that of SIS 232 and School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies is 227. Centre for African Studies, Centre for East African Studies, Centre for Indo-Pacific Studies, Centre for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, and Centre for Media Studies will not have any admission this year for the two programmes.
Other JNU departments which have reduced the seats include Centre for European Studies (6), Centre for Inner Asian Studies (13), Centre for International Legal Studies (7), Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament (37), Centre for West Asian Studies (11), Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies (35), Centre for Arabic Studies (24), Centre for English Studies (13) and Centre for Indian Languages (49).
While the university officials claim that the student intake has been altered “within the prescribed norms”, the students allege that no permission has been taken from the statutory bodies.
“The administration has finally made it clear that they are all out to close admissions to the M.Phil/PhD programmes. The number of intake for the upcoming admissions, which are in violation of the approved intake decided in the Academic Council as well as court orders, have been released,” said Pratim Ghoshal, JNU student and member of Democratic Students Forum (DSF).
“Going by the authorities’ understanding, it is also clear that this will affect present M.Phil students, admitted last year, who have not been accounted for in these numbers as well as de-registered PhD students,” he added.
Sucheta De, President, All India Students Association (AISA), slammed the move.
“Students may or may not be admitted in a year. According to this formula, students will have to be admitted so that the API (Academic Performance Index) criteria for teachers are fulfilled and there is no need to create vacancies for teachers now,” she said.
A senior university official who did not wish to be named said, “The calculations have been carefully done by the evaluation department and any reduction or increase in the intake has been done within the prescribed norms.”
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been witnessing student unrest over various issues for over a year.