New Delhi: Not happy with the compulsory attendance rule, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Student’s Union will lead a mass delegation of students to the Vice Chancellor’s office on January 4th .
“JNU VC asks for our attendance in every class, we would say haazir Janab at VC office,” reads the statement from the Union.
Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has made attendance compulsory from winter semester 2018. The Union also conducted a signature campaign, and garnered approximately 2,500 signatures from the students rejecting this, what they called, "arbitrary farmaan”.
The "compulsory attendance" circular issued by the administration claims to be a ‘decision’ of the 1 December Academic Council meeting. But JNUSU alleged that the last Academic Council never took any such ‘decision’ and the attendance system was not even part of the Council’s agenda.
Simone Zoya Khan, the Vice President of the university’s Student’s Union said that this “farmaan” is the consequence of fixing partisan faculty appointments in JNU. “The recent appointments in JNU are not based on candidates’ academic credentials but political loyalties. JNU never had the compulsory attendance rule. In order to make sure that students attend the classes of such partisan appointments the VC came up with this farmaan.”
The students believe that in JNU the idea of not having a compulsory attendance system was to encourage both teacher and students to evolve methods to ensure there is effective teaching and participation of students in class. The imposition of compulsory attendance on campus, which has always been rated the best university by none other than the MHRD and other government agencies, is unacceptable to the students.
The VC had, on the other hand, justified the decisions on the grounds of “ensuring high standard in academics”.
The students would remind the VC of “JNU’s academic excellence achieved till date, which has rested on the philosophy of freedom of debate and discussion, inclusion and equality, without any fiat and farcical regimentation”.
“Similarly the question arises, that JNU being a research university where both professors and students majorly involve themselves in research how logical would it be for students of M. Phil and PhD to sign an attendance register on daily basis,” said a JNUSU member.
They fear it will become a new tool in the hands of administration to harass the students.