New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) Former Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor Asis Datta along with 10 other emeritus professors have been asked by the JNU administration to submit their CVs for review of their work, with the varsity saying it is only following its ordinance “in letter and spirit” in the appointment of emeritus professors.
The decision was at the receiving end of criticism after a report emerged claiming that eminent historian and Padma Bhushan awardee Romila Thapar was also among those asked by the varsity to submit her Curriculum Vitae so that it can consider if she can continue as professor emeriti at JNU.
However, according to Rule 32 (g) of JNU’s Academic Rules and Regulations, updated in March 2019, “once appointed, the Executive Council (EC) as an appointing authority, will review the continuation or otherwise for each existing emeritus professor after attainment of her/his age of 75 years by considering her/his health status, willingness, availability, university needs etc. so that more positions will be available to other potential candidates.”
It is said that the 11 academicians had received the letters asking for CVs out of 25 emeritus professors at JNU. But only Thapar, 87, confirmed receiving the letter though she refused to comment on it.
“Yes I did receive the letter from the Registrar and I replied,” Thapar told IANS on Sunday evening.
Apart from Thapar, Professors H.S. Gill, C.K. Varshney, Ashok Sanjay Guha, Asis Datta, R. Rajaraman, Yogendra Singh, D. Banerji, T.K. Oommen, Amit Bhaduri and Shiela Bhalla have been sent letters by the Registrar.
Rule 32(g) further states that the Excutive Council would appoint a subcommittee for each emeritus professor above the age of 75, “which will examine each case as it deems fit, including by interaction, inviting latest CV, peer group views etc. The recommendation of this committee will be considered by EC for its decision.”
Confirming the same, the JNU administration released a statement saying “The university is following its ordinance in letter and spirit in the appointments of professor emeritus at JNU. As per the ordinance, the university is required to write to all those who have attained the age of 75 years to know their availability and their willingness to continue their association with the university.”
The Education Secretary R. Subrahmanyam also tweeted his response where he said, “There is no move to discontinue professor emeritus status to anyone, especially respected academicians; only provisions of the ordinance are being followed.”