The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 22 , 2017

JNU slashes research seats

New Delhi, March 21: JNU has slashed research seats by 84 per cent for the 2017-18 session, offering only 194 admissions against 1,234 last year, according to its prospectus.

The seats include integrated MPhil-PhD, junior research fellowships and direct PhD courses.

JNU has also ended deprivation points - grace marks in admission tests - for weaker sections in the research courses, according to the prospectus.

Candidates must score a minimum 50 per cent in the written test, after which selections will be based on an oral interview. The norms effectively give the oral test - found by an internal panel to be loaded against those with poor communication skills - 100 per cent weightage.

The prospectus had been held up for a while after five students moved Delhi High Court last month against the adoption of the new norms, framed by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The UGC rules also impose caps on the number of researchers that a professor can supervise. The norms make no mention of deprivation points.

The high court had dismissed the students' plea last week, following which the JNU registrar said the relaxations offered against the norms earlier were no longer applicable.

As a result of the seat cuts, three schools - physical sciences, computational and integrative sciences, and biotechnology - have no seats for the integrated MPhil-PhD course. Nor do the sought-after centres for law and governance and Sanskrit offer any seats in this category.

The worst hit are the three premier schools with the highest intake. Only three of the 13 centres of the school of international studies - the oldest school - offer any seats at all for the integrated MPhil-PhD course.

Only two of the 13 centres of the school of social sciences, and four of the 12 centres of the school of languages, have any seats in this category.

There will be no admission to the prestigious history and political science centres. The history centre has been designated a UGC centre of excellence.

"It's like JNU is being shut down. We will come up with a course of action soon," students' union president Mohit Pandey said.

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