The Jawaharlal Nehru University Rector has written to all Deans of Schools and Chairpersons of Centres, asking them to follow certain “recommendations” to make the interview process during this year’s entrance examinations “discrimination free”. However, the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) has objected to some of them.
The recommendations include having a professor nominated by the Vice-Chancellor from the reserved category — possibly from outside the Centre and School — on the panel while interviewing a student from the reserved category, as well as audio-recording the entire process.
In a letter dated June 5, Rector Chintamani Mahapatra said the recommendations — submitted by a panel set up by the V-C — had been “approved by the competent authority” and that they would be tabled in the Standing Committee for Admissions. Mahapatra, who is abroad, did not respond to texts by The Indian Express.
“The viva-voce committee should be represented by a faculty member at the level of professor belonging to reserved category, at the time of interviewing a candidate from reserved category, from within the Centre or other Centre/school, nominated by the V-C… Viva-voce of candidates should be audio-recorded and it may be preserved for one semester,” the Rector wrote.
He added, “For gender sensitisation, a female faculty member should also be invited… as an observer/special invitee, nominated by the V-C, in case no female faculty is available in the Centre.”
Terming these “unacceptable”, JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai wrote, “The V-C’s nominee is likely to be completely unacquainted with the discipline/area of the subject of the Centre… We demand that the existing practice of including reserved members of the Centre faculty, irrespective of rank, be retained.” On the audio-recording, the JNUTA asked, “Will it be used for re-evaluation or for vetting of interview process by the administration?”