Amid outrage over Jawaharlal Nehru University asking historian Romila Thapar to submit her CV, the university on Wednesday alleged there was a “motivated campaign” to “defame administrative reforms and application of rules” using the “name of one Professor Emeritus” and stressed that it was not targeting “one professor”
The varsity said there was a “huge skew” in the earlier appointments and this was done to make the process “broad-based” so that more Professor Emeriti can be appointed.
“Several news reports and social media opinions have been circulating giving one-sided views on the issue of Professor Emeritus position in JNU. Clearly, there is a motive to defame administrative reforms and application of rules that are based on statutes and ordinances of the university by the administration,” it said in a statement released today.
“The goal was to make the process broad-based, time-bound and rule-based selection, so that Professors Emeriti are appointed across disciplines and schools in the university,” the statement read.
The statement comes a day after the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) made public the letter sent to Thapar asking for her CV in order to review her status as Professor Emerita. The JNUTA had accused the administration of spreading “blatant falsehood” over its letter to Thapar.
The subject line of the letter also said ‘Assessment of Past Work of “Professor Emeritus” in Jawaharlal Nehru University for the Committee to Decide on Continuation’. The JNUTA said the subject line is “all the evidence needed to expose the true intentions of the JNU administration”.
After facing criticism from various quarters for asking Thapar to submit her CV, the JNU administration had put out a statement in which they said the letter was not sent for discontinuation but only to check willingness and availability of the Emeritus Professors.
The varsity said “no single emeritus professor has been targeted, as has been falsely alleged”, and “it has only sought to implement a rule that is part of the university’s ordinance”.
Currently, there are 21 Professors Emeriti in JNU — 17 from Social Sciences and Humanities and four from Sciences. “One can see that there is a huge skew in the earlier appointments of Professor Emeriti. A substantive number of faculty members in JNU from various disciplines too have numerous academic achievements and laurels,” the varsity said.
The move comes after JNU’s Executive Council (EC) in August last year revised the rules and regulations of the university to say that a committee appointed by the council would review the continuation of emeritus professors after they turn 75. Thapar is 87-year-old.