Nine students suspended by the JNU administration for allegedly disrupting an academic council meeting Wednesday said the university had gone against its own committee by adopting the UGC gazette notification of May 2016. They also put forth recommendations of a university-appointed committee, which has suggested reduction in interview marks for MPhil/PhD admissions.
JNU’s executive council’s (EC) had on Tuesday passed certain contentious agenda items, including adoption of the UGC gazette notification of May 2016, which makes viva-voce the sole criterion of admission for MPhil/PhD, and making written tests just a qualifying exam.
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JNU follows a 70:30 formula of written test and interview for admission. The eight-member Abdul Nafey Committee, in its meeting on November 4, 2016, recommended reducing interview marks after studying admission-related data from 2012-15.
“The findings of the committee is that the data consistently indicate the pattern of difference in the written and the viva-voce marks across all social categories, which indicates discrimination. It is the considered view of the committee and it, therefore, recommends that the discriminatory pattern would get mitigated if viva-voce marks is reduced from the present 30 to 15 marks. The university should review the system after three years,” the committee had said. ‘ Prashant Kumar, a suspended student, said, “In the first part of the academic council meeting, 27 professors had spoken in favour of reducing viva-voce marks, and 23 professors had spoken against it, but the V-C sided with the latter. He is now sending letters to centres and schools to implement the notification.” A senior university official said, “JNU will ask the UGC for the freedom to do some necessary modifications in the interest of students and teachers.”