The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) on Saturday said the university administration’s move to impose Central Civil Services (CCS) Rules on teachers will “take away the social use of the university”.
In an Academic Council (AC) meeting on Friday, the implementation of CCS Rules was part of the agenda. However, JNU has not yet clearly stated whether it had, in fact, adopted the rules in toto. A senior university official had on Friday told The Indian Express, “As per the UGC regulations, CCS rules will apply where the university doesn’t have its own rules. The JNU EC has also earlier decided the same.”
However, the JNUTA said CCS Rules were not part of the UGC regulations. “When it was pointed out that the CCS rules were not part of UGC regulations and that difficulties would arise from the adoption, the Vice-Chancellor said the UGC instructions mandated the adoption of CCS rules, but refused to produce any document in support of this assertion. Rebuffing all suggestions that the draft ordinances should be placed before the next AC meeting after inviting feedback from the Centres and Schools, the V-C insisted on declaring the ordinances as provisionally approved,” JNUTA president Sonajharia Minz said in a statement.
“The JNUTA would like to point out that CCS (conduct) rules are applied to administrative officers in the government, their extension to Universities like JNU will take away the social use of the university. A university produces new knowledge and teaches it. But it needs independence of thinking and the freedom to dissent and act on that dissent. The CCS rules will remove these freedoms. That is precisely the objective behind the attempt to impose these rules by the current JNU administration, which has shown itself repeatedly to be intolerant of dissent. It has already invoked CCS (conduct) rules while issuing showcause notices to 48 teachers for participating in a peaceful protest. It is now attempting to formalise its authoritarian ways by incorporating CCS (conduct) Rules in the Ordinances,” she added.
CCS rules are applicable on government servants, and prohibit them from making anti-government statements, and being members of political associations, among other things. “Under these rules, economics professors can be punished for discussing economic policy; political scientists can be punished for discussing politics; environmental science professors can be punished for discussing environmental policy; scientists can be punished for discussing government science policy, etc. The very role that academics is supposed to play in the classroom and in civil society, has become criminalised,” a teacher said.