JNU administration and teachers clash over new norms on attendance
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) on Monday observed a day-long hunger strike against the university administration's decision making it mandatory for them to mark their attendance every day.
"We would like to reiterate that the decision to go on hunger strike by JNUTA was taken because the administration is hell-bent on destroying the teacher learning process in JNU. ...JNUTA demands that arbitrary circulars regarding the rescheduling of the academic calendar and compliance of faculty attendance be immediately withdrawn," the teachers' union said in a statement.
It also opposed the installing of biometric machines for marking attendance and the administration's recent decision to hold online entrance test for admission of students, emphasising that the tests must be offline in the pen and paper form as earlier.
The authorities decried the hunger strike at the prohibited administrative block at the university as vitiating.
"Despite several requests from the JNU administration to JNUTA office-bearers to maintain peace in the campus and not to hold their 'dharna' (sit-in) near Administration building, which is a prohibited area for such activities not only by JNU Ordinance but also by the direction of the honourable high court, the JNUTA leadership is holding their 'dharna'.
"It is evident that JNUTA office-bearers are determined to vitiate the academic environment in JNU," the university said in a statement.
"The JNUTA call for hunger strike is superficial as the demand for dialogue is for public consumption only. By such unwanted activities, JNUTA is also setting wrong precedents for students by calling for strikes in the prohibited areas.
"JNU Administration appeals to the teaching community not to pay heed to JNUTA's call for a lawless campus," it added.
(With inputs from agencies.)