Pro-attendance JNU teachers accuse JNUTA of ‘misinformation’

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New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) A group of of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) teachers on Monday appealed to the students community to suspend their agitation against the ‘attendance rule’ and accused their colleagues from the teachers’ association of “spreading false information” about the issue.

“We, the concerned faculty members of Jawaharlal Nehru University… would like to reiterate that a few JNUTA office-bearers have been spreading false information regarding implementation of attendance for JNU students… while the fact is that the JNU administration is only formalising the attendance procedure … as prescribed by the UGC,” the group of about 40 teachers said in a statement.

The teachers requested the students and teachers supporting them to refrain from “unlawful protest” and asked for their cooperation in the order’s implementation.

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“As a supervisor, we have to have some proof that a student was present for a certain duration. Suppose someone files an RTI asking for the proof that person was present that time, so at least we need to have something.

“And then there is misinformation that is being spread by the JNUTA among students. Someone raised the point that how a pregnant woman will come everyday and sign for attendance, but the woman can take up to two years’ leave,” Rupesh Chaturvedi, a professor of biotechnology at the university and one of those involved here, told IANS.

Pointing out the difference between the culture of the two streams, he said all this while no science school has suspended the classes, which were held even during the strike, and rarely any student from sciences take part in demonstrations.

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While this happened, the JNU Teachers’ Association held an ‘Aakrosh Dharna’ in the varsity denouncing the attendance order as an “undemocratic, authoritarian, and unilateral diktat of JNU VC” .

The campus has been simmering with protests and strikes since the implementation of the order by the administration in January, according to which a student has to have 75 per cent of attendance to be eligible for next semester.

In another circular later, the administration stipulated for the forfeiture of scholarship/fellowship and hostel accommodation for the students falling short of attendance.

The JNU Students’ Union has now called for a “historic march” at the Human Resource Development Ministry on February 20 for the Vice Chancellor’s removal.

–IANS

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