JNU Entrance Exam Re-Scheduled to May 2019 Despite Opposition from Teachers

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Friday, December 7, 2018, declared that the online entrance exam for undergraduate, postgraduate, MPhil and PHD courses will be held in May 2019 instead of December 2018 as per the previous schedule.

The Hindustan Times quoted JNU registrar Pramod Kumar as saying, “It has been decided that the computer-based JNU entrance examination, 2019-20, will be held in the month of May 2019, keeping in view the difficulties of students to write the examination in December.”

According to the Indian Express, the university is teaming up with the National Testing Agency (NTA). The agency is run by the Indian government and is approved by the union council of ministers. “JNU is the first Central University to be collaborating with NTA to conduct its national-level entrance examination. To make them accessible to applicants from remote areas, the number of examination centres will be doubled… Mock test centres will be introduced to familiarise applicants with computer-based entrance examinations,” he said.

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Apart from re-scheduling the examination to May, the university also changed the format to multiple choice questions, says the Hindustan Times report. The decision was opposed by some faculty members.

“The VC (vice chancellor) informed the AC (academic council) members that a vast majority of faculty members have enthusiastically extended their cooperation by submitting MCQ papers to the admissions office in time… The AC took serious note of non-cooperation and non-compliance by a few centres and the School of Arts and Aesthetics, which has declined to set a MCQ paper… The AC has recommended disciplinary action against defaulting faculty members as per the rules of the university,” added Pramod Kumar.

However, the JNU teacher’s association (JNUTA) alleged that the teachers were not allowed to discuss the format of the entrance examination during the AC meeting on Friday. “No discussion on admission policy was allowed. Several teachers wished to express their opinion that the JNUEE should be held in the offline paper and pen format but were not allowed to speak,” JNUTA told Hindustan Times.

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According to the Indian Express, the JNUTA further alleged that the delay was because the university was not able to find a private vendor to conduct the examination. The JNUTA said that the AC members were “sought to be silenced, threatened and humiliated” at the meeting. JNUTA President Atul Sood said, “Several teachers wished to express that JNUEE should be held in offline format… but were not allowed to speak and rudely insulted by the VC.”

Last year, in May 2017, JNU’s Academic Council (AC) had decided to conduct the examination in May after a long assessment of the feasibility of the schedule. “We are implementing the proposal that received a nod long back,” said JNU vice-chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar. This year they reverted to the previous schedule again.