Jawaharlal Nehru University Friday told the Delhi High Court that a small group of “so called scholars of eminence” are damaging the reputation of the “great university” by alleging that the Vice Chancellor has arrogated the power of faculty recruitment.
The raking up of such issues by some faculty members “goes against the smooth functioning of an institution of higher learning and research,” the JNU said. The university’s response came on a plea filed by five faculty members of JNU, alleging that Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has arrogated himself the power to make additions to the Panel of Experts, from which he would nominate experts to the Selection Committee for the purpose of faculty appointments.
However, the affidavit filed by the university countered the allegation stating that there was no violation of statutes and the “action taken was urgent in nature, inescapable and essential to ensure that deadline for admission process is met without any hassle.”
“In fact, in the garb of Statutes, etc. a small group of so-called scholars of eminence are bent upon damaging the well-earned reputation of this great University and trying to derail the entire recruitment process for teaching posts which the university wants to speed up because of more than 300 vacancies,” it said.
It said that the recruitment process is time consuming and “any hurdle in this process would have serious ramifications in running academic programmes.”
The submissions were made by the JNU Registrar in a status report filed before a bench of Justice Indermeet Kaur. The affidavit, filed through JNU’s counsel Monika Arora, sought the dismissal of the petition which alleged that the VC arrogated the power to himself through a resolution passed in the EC meeting on November 22 last and a December 26 meeting of the academic council.
The court has fixed the matter for further hearing on September 8. The petitioners’ counsel Vrinda Grover had claimed that the UGC Regulation unambiguously and clearly provide that the VC shall have the power to only nominate experts to the Selection Committees from the approved data base of Panel of Experts.
“The VC has no authority under the law and rules to add any name to the said panel of experts or nominate to the Selection Committee a person not already listed as an expert in the Panel of Experts as approved by the Academic Council (AC) and Executive Council (EC),” the petition said.
“The Vice Chancellor, by usurping the power to add names beyond the approved list of Panel of Experts, is acting without the authority of law and in direct contravention of the aforesaid Statutes, Rules of the JNU Act and Ordinance,” it alleged.
The petition was filed by faculty members, Bishnupriya Dutt, Jayati Ghosh, Ravi Srivastava, G Arunima and Ranjani Mazumdar.