The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) academic council Wednesday decided to hold admissions through the Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET) from the next academic session, a decision opposed by the university's teachers’ and students’ unions.
“During the deliberations in the Academic Council, a large number of members including the Deans of Schools, Centre Chairpersons, and External Members of the Council emphasized that CUET would provide a level playing field to numerous eligible students from across the country reducing the burden of taking several entrance examinations," it said.
Recently, the Delhi University also decided to hold admissions from the next academic session through the CUET. The statement said the university had earlier in its academic council meeting held in March last year, also decided that whenever the National Testing Agency would hold the CUET, the university would go by it.
"In fact, since 2019 Jawaharlal Nehru University has been successfully conducting JNU Entrance Examination at various centres of the country to admit students in its various programmes of studies in collaboration with NTA in Computer Based Test (CBT) mode," read the statement. However, the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) and the JNU students' union (JNUSU) expressed their opposition to Wednesday’s decision.
JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh alleged the CUET decision has been “imposed” in an autocratic way. “Yet again, the JNU Academic Council crossed all limits to bulldoze decision making process. Autocratic ways of imposing decisions," she tweeted. The JNUTA alleged that the vice chancellor “has once again bulldozed his diktat, making JNU part of the CUET”.
They accused the vice chancellor of selectively orchestrating the discussion on the CUET which was sent as an additional agenda item on January 10, by stating that decision on the matter had already been taken in the 157th meeting of the Academic Council. "This however is not true. A perusal of the minutes of the 157th meeting of the Academic Council clearly shows that this was not even listed on the agenda of that meeting."
“It was only part of one of the several recommendations of the advisory committee on admissions which recommended that ‘in case of receiving any direction from MoE/UGC, the University will accordingly adopt and admit students through CUET’,” the JNUTA said in a statement. They said the members of the Academic Council have reported that there was no discussion on CUET during the Academic Council meeting in March last year.
"More importantly, when the additional agenda was sent on Jan 10, 2022, 111 faculty members submitted their opinion requesting the Academic Council to refer the agenda item for discussion at the School (BOS) and Centre (Faculty Committee) for further deliberations. Not only did the Vice Chancellor not place this letter on the table, he also did not allow people to raise apprehensions with respect to the adoption of CUET," they said. They said that even though members raised issues about the unique nature of the University and their respective centres, the “VC did not allow their concerns any space and muted the speakers abruptly”.
"Many faculty members were not even allowed to speak despite their raised hands. Showing no respect even to the members appointed from outside the University in the Academic Council, the Caretaker VC abruptly muted an honourable member when he said that he did not like the way he stopped people from speaking by muting their mics, the statement by JNUTA said.
With inputs from PTI.