The Jawaharlal Nehru University Friday rubbished the claims of its students' union of a 300 per cent hike in prospectus fee, saying the fee remains the same as last year. The students' union had protested on Thursday and said the varsity had increased the prospectus fee by 300 per cent, closed down BA lateral entry programme in School of Languages, and de-linked MPhil-PhD programme which was an integrated programme.
In a statement, the varsity said it was "aghast at the widespread misinformation" "being circulated by a handful of self-styled student leaders of JNU" on the entrance examination. "The messages that are being posted on various social media speak of a 300 per cent fee hike in the application form for the JNU entrance test. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There is no hike in the application fee and it remains the same as the last year's application fee," the varsity said.
The varsity is conducting the exam in collaboration with the National Testing Agency (NTA) in 127 centres, instead of 70 centres as was done earlier, to provide better access to students from across the country, it said. The use of modern technology and computer-based multiple choice questions makes the entrance examination very objective and discrimination-free, the varsity said, adding some self-styled student leaders are bent on spreading rumours and damaging the university's image.
The varsity said the decisions to close down BA lateral entry programme in School of Languages and de-link MPhil-PhD programmes were the results of serious deliberations of the Academic Council and the Executive Council. The decision for the delinking of MPhil from the PhD programme is in the best interest of the students, who now can enrol for PhD degree programme directly after MA or MSc, the varsity said.
"Experiences and past practices show how a lot many students who joined the integrated MPhil/PhD programme often took six or more years to complete their dissertations. "During the best year of one's life, completing higher degree requirements at shorter time frame can actually enable students to contribute their best to higher education and move on in life," the varsity said.
The JNUSU said they will continue to fight against the online entrance examination, the abolition of BA second year lateral entry and the delinking of MPhil and PhD programmes. They have 48 hours to the vice-chancellor to take the considerations of the students and teachers and threatened to intensify the struggle and start an indefinite strike.
(With inputs from agencies.)