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Home » My Kolkata » News » Jadavpur University seeks teacher’s reply for one ‘offence’, mum on another

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Jadavpur University seeks teacher’s reply for one ‘offence’, mum on another

The PhD scholar, pursuing research under the assistant professor’s guidance, had in an FB post last month said she was yet to get justice

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 17.11.22, 06:38 AM
Jadavpur University

Jadavpur University

Jadavpur University has sought an explanation from an assistant professor in the international relations department for allegedly not accepting a visually challenged scholar in an MPhil programme under her guidance.

But the university has yet to announce its action against the same teacher for allegedly attacking a candidate pursuing PhD for her caste “by referring to terms like quota”.

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The teacher allegedly made the comment at a meeting of the PhD research committee of the department. The PhD scholar, who was pursuing her research under the guidance of the assistant professor, had in a Facebook post last month said she was yet to get justice.

On Wednesday, a new research guide was assigned to her.    

The PhD research committee of the department on Wednesday resolved that the head of the department, Iman Kalyan Lahiri, would be the new guide of the scholar, JU officials said.

But replacing the research supervisor does not amount to taking action against the accused teacher.

As for the alleged refusal to accept the visually challenged student in the MPhil programme, the JU registrar has written in a letter to the assistant professor: “In compliance with the note from vice-chancellor… you are informed that as per the complaint raised against you regarding deprivation to a physically disabled scholar raised by the BOS (board of studies) of your department…. The matter has been sent to the dean of arts and HoD (head of the department) for their opinion and in accordance to that the matter is now being sent herewith to put your observation in this regard.”

By asking the teacher to “put your observation”, the university has sought “an explanation from the teacher about the complaint”, registrar Snehamanju Basu told The Telegraph.

“Your early response in this regard is desired,” the letter says. The alleged refusal to accept the physically challenged student in the MPhil course came to light when the head of the department in a letter to vice-chancellor Suranjan Das on September 12 complained that the teacher had sought “reallocation” of an MPhil candidate because of “his vision problem”. 

The letter to Das said: “Having an extensive discussion on the letter submitted by the (accused) teacher, the BOS (board of studies) resolved that the letter by the teacher shall be forwarded by the head, IR (international relations) department, to the vice-chancellor for issuing showcause to the teacher for refusing to accept a visually challenged scholar.”

The board of studies had also sought “necessary steps” against the teacher for violating the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act.

Repeated calls and text messages to the teacher failed to elicit any response.

Another teacher said it was not clear why the letter from the registrar did not refer to the alleged casteist slur, considering that the board of studies had in a resolution said that “she (the accused teacher) has violated the SC/ ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act” by referring to the caste identity of the PhD scholar. Before the allegations surfaced, the student had twice written to the authorities with the plea that her supervisor be replaced because she felt her research was not progressing at the desired pace.

Asked whether any steps would be taken against the teacher for the alleged attack based on the scholar’s caste, Lahiri said: “The allegations of attacks based on caste will be taken up at a meeting of the BOS on November 24. Let the members give their views.”

Last updated on 17.11.22, 12:06 PM
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