NEW DELHI: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) has served a charge sheet to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor M. Jagadesh Kumar. He was asked to submit an explanation on the charges against him by 20 October, failing which inquiry proceedings will be launched.
Charges against the VC include repeated violations of statutory provisions and obligations, undermining the integrity of the faculty selection process, damaging the interests of the students aspiring for research, wasting public money and violating Central Educational Institutions (CEI) Act and reservation policy, harassing teachers and delaying their legitimate dues, assaulting democracy and promoting authoritarianism, undermining JNU’s anti-sexual harassment policy, displaying a callous attitude towards missing student Najeeb Ahmed and failing to protect a student’s interests. In general, Prof. Kumar was charged with the cardinal offence of leading a dismantling and destruction of institutional norms, conventions, ethos and culture of the functioning of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Speaking to Newsclick, Pradeep K. Shinde, JNUTA Secretary said that the Vice Chancellor did not acknowledge the charge sheet served to him, making himself liable to inquiry proceedings in a public hearing. He said that JNUTA has invited renowned intellectuals to lead a fair public hearing and complete details will be announced in short time.
Ayesha Kidwai, JNUTA President said that in order to gain some respect of the teaching community, the Vice-Chancellor should at least be present in the inquiry proceedings. She said the hearings will take place at 5 pm from October 23-27.
In the first week of October, academics, labour researchers and trade unionists from over 50 countries who participated in the XII Global Labour University Conference held in JNU, had appealed to the Vice-Chancellor to uphold academic freedom and the right to disagree.
Conveying the message of the conference participants, Prof. Michelle Williams, Chairperson of the International Steering Committee, wrote to the VC expressing “concerns over the recent developments and administrative measures that encroach upon academic freedom and the right to disagree in academic decision making.”