Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will on Monday discuss a proposal to take part in the government-conceived Central University Common Entrance Examination by discontinuing its own test for admission.
The Academic Council chaired by in-charge vice-chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar will take up the matter at a time around 20 members have questioned the 2018 decision to outsource the JNU Entrance Examination to the National Testing Agency (NTA).
The National Education Policy has recommended a common entrance exam for admission to central universities. The old central universities conduct their own entrance tests. Around a dozen new central universities admit students through a common exam.
The education ministry wants all central universities to participate in the common entrance test in the coming academic session itself. The Academic Council and Executive Council of each university have to pass a proposal on joining the common entrance exam plan.
After the JNU Academic Council meets on Monday, the Executive Council will discuss the matter on March 26.
The JNU Teachers’ Association on Sunday questioned the authority of the in-charge VC to hold a meeting of the Academic Council on such a crucial issue. The JNU statute is silent on the powers of an in-charge VC. Kumar completed his tenure in January, and is now officiating as VC till a regular appointment is made.
The JNUTA called Kumar’s decision to hold the meeting an “abuse” of power.
“The continuation of Prof. Jagadesh Kumar as the VC as per the order of the MoE is not an extension of his term and places him only in a position of an interim administrator until the appointment of a new VC. Implicit in this arrangement is the understanding he will not indulge in exercising powers in this interim period that are otherwise part of the official duties of a regular VC,” the JNUTA said in a statement.
JNUTA secretary Mousumi Basu said she had written to the education ministry and the University Grants Commission, the higher education regulator, asking them to clarify if the in-charge VC enjoys all the powers of a regular VC.
The Telegraph sent an email and made phone calls to VC Kumar to ask about the teachers questioning his authority to hold the meeting but received no reply.