Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has decided to start four-year undergraduate programmes in various discipline and offering Master’s level programmes in online mode in subjects which do not require lab or experimental work.
A host of other decisions were taken at the varsity’s academic council meeting on Thursday.
The JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) alleged that the decisions were taken at the academic council meeting without any formal consultations with the existing schools and centres in the varsity. The “requisite approvals” of the boards of studies of the schools had also not been obtained by the varsity administration.
“Despite the wide praise for JNU faculty and students by none other than the President and Prime Minister of India over the past few days, the move by JNU administration to exclude both JNUTA and JNUSU (students union) from the 155th Academic Council meeting held today, once again demonstrates the scant regard that the Vice-Chancellor and his team has for the democratic practices followed in the past by previous administrations,” the teacher's body said ina statement.
“The present JNU administration has made a habit of promoting a system of top-down governance, where discussion with other stakeholders is reduced to a mere formality. The repeated attempts by the current administration to constantly sideline the representation of faculty members and students in statutory bodies are highly condemnable.”
At the academic council at its meeting deliberated on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and decided to set up a committee for implementation of the policy recommendations.
“Some of the major issues that came under focus were the possibility of converting the existing 3-year BA programs into four-year programs, strengthening further the inclusive policy of the university to provide better opportunities for students coming from socially and economically disadvantaged sections, increasing the in-take of international students, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among students and faculty members,” JNU said in a statement.
At the same meeting, the academic council also decided to establish a Special Centre for Systems Medicine (SCSM) in the university. Systems medicine is an approach to understand the complexity of the interactions of all the molecular and cellular determinants involved in the pathophysiology of a disease.
“This proposed centre would serve as a national hub for the development of India specific clinical and molecular data and its application in the area of Systems Medicine,” JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said.