Ignoring the established practice of appointing Deans of Schools in JNU on the basis of seniority, the JNU administration has appointed a professor — sixth in line — as the Dean of the School of Social Sciences. The move has angered the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA).
Four of the five professors who were superseded have officially dissented against the JNU administration, sources said, adding that while three professors are petitioners in various court cases at the Delhi High Court, another has sent a written dissent to the V-C, in a matter pertaining to Selection Committees for faculty appointment.
“The V-C, in exercise of the powers vested in him under Statute 7 (1) of the Statutes of the University, has appointed Prof Pradipta K Chaudhury, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, as Dean, School of Social Sciences for a period of two years w.e.f. October 1,” read an office order dated September 29 by Assistant Registrar (Academic) Ravi Kant Sinha.
Chaudhury, who took over from Professor C P Chandrasekhar, was appointed in February 2001. He superseded professors Kunal Chakrabarti (July 1998), Jayati Ghosh (December 1998), Rajat Datta (February 1999), Ravi Srivastava (October 1999) and B K Bhadria (January 2000).
Of these, Srivastava and Ghosh are petitioners in the writ petition filed in the Delhi High Court on “V-C’s tampering with Selection Committees by adding illegally to the panel of experts”. Chakrabarti (as Acting Dean, SSS) too had given the V-C a written dissent note on the “illegal addition of experts” on two Selection Committees that he was present in. Meanwhile, Datta is a petitioner in the writ petition on the dissolution of GSCASH.
JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai said the principle of seniority is the “most transparent, eliminates subjectivity and bias”.
Chakrabarti, who would have been the Dean if the seniority criterion had been followed, said, “It’s possible he thought that (by appointing Chaudhury) he would have a Dean who would tend to agree with him rather than argue.” Datta said the superseded professors would take up the matter with the V-C.
Despite repeated attempts, the V-C, Rector and Registrar did not respond to calls and texts by The Indian Express. Chaudhury refused to comment.