JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, On 7th August, JNU Teachers’ association organized a referendum on two matters. One, should the current JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar be relieved from his office? And two, should JNU take a HEFA loan?
In order to stop “autocratic” functioning of the vice-chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ association voted and more than 90% of the teachers present at the referendum wanted the VC to be relieved of his office. Over 93% of the JNU teachers who voted in a ‘referendum’ which want the JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar removal. JNU Referendum makes it clear that JNU wants its current VC’s Reign to End.
Over the second matter, more than 96% teachers also voted against taking a Rs 515 crore loan from the government’s higher education funding agency.
JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) said,“As many as 93 percents of the JNU teachers voted against the JNU vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar in the referendum. Out of total 586 listed faculty members at JNU, 300 turned up to cast their votes. Among the voters, 279 teachers voted in favor of the VC being relieved”.
They added,”The university has been recently indulging in individual targeting, issuing notices against faculty members who dare to express dissent in any manner. For instance, on the day after a protest march that took place last week, individual letters were issued against those who were ‘…seen to be…’ protesting.’
The teachers’ body alleged a “general atmosphere of fear” has been created by the current administration and individual teachers are being targeted and issued notices for expressing “dissent” on academic and other issues. The teachers also gave a thumbs down to a demand by the varsity for a multi-crore loan from the government through the Higher Education Fund Agency (HEFA), the statement said. The HEFA loan was rejected by 96 percent of the teachers who took part in the referendum.
The referendum was preceded by a series of protest actions like a one day strike and a march against VC’s decisions on July 31 and a two-day convention on “Crisis of Higher Education in India” on August 3 and 4, where a wide array of parliamentarians, cutting across parties, supported the JNUTA.