Delegation of MPs to Meet With HRD, Demand Removal of JNU’s Vice Chancellor

A delegation of MPs from various parties will be meeting the HRD minister to demand an inquiry against Jawaharlal Nehru University vice chancellor’s “misgovernance” and his immediate removal for allegedly violating the JNU Act, said Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha Friday.

Addressing a press conference on issues plaguing the higher education, which was organised by the JNU Teachers’ Association and the Students’ Union, Jha said the MPs have also moved a notice for a short duration discussion on JNU in parliament.

The JNUTA and the JNUSU have been at loggerheads with the administration over several issues like compulsory attendance for teachers and students, library fund cuts.

The JNUTA conducted a survey among universities across the world to explore whether marking attendance is a global practice that is followed for academic accountability, said its secretary Avinash Kumar.

“No university/institutes of higher learning in 75 premiere and highly ranked universities spread across 21 countries except one has the practice of faculty signing daily attendance register or using biometrics,” he said.

Jha said, “February 2016 is when the first voice of opposition was raised from JNU and today there are many voices. The JNU has became the focal point of dissent.”

He said they will seek an appointment with the HRD minister around January 8 to demand an inquiry against JNU VC M. Jagadesh Kumar’s “misgovernance and his immediate removal from the post”.

A senior AAP leader said a magisterial probe into the February 2016 incident in JNU did not find any audio, video or evidence that slogans demanding “Azaadi for Kashmir” were raised.

“If you want to express your views, you are painted as anti-national and this has been done by the government and the media has also supported them in this. Despite no evidence being found about the slogans, the JNU has been labelled as an anti-national place where slogans demanding “azaadi” for Kahsmir are raised,” he said.

Rajya Sabha MP Kumar Ketkar said the attack on JNU is part of the larger conspiracy.

“All mediocre people, all the fascist people hate scholarships, universities and research… Even Ronald Reagan tried to sideline universities and research. Donald trump is doing the same. In India, we have a democratically elected semi-fascist system,” he said.

Congress leader Amee Harshadray Yajnik said the government wants to capture “invisible spaces”, asserting that there is a need to collectively fight against it.

L. Hanumanthaiah, Rajya Sabha MP, also echoed similar views as the others and said the varsity’s vice chancellor is acting “like a dictator and not listening to academic council and other such bodies”.