48 JNU Teachers Who Protested Against 'Harassment', Served Notice By VC
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice-chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar has issued notices to 48 teachers for participating in a day-long strike on July 31 last year.
The teachers have been asked to submit a written reply by August 7 and failing which an ex-parte enquiry will be initiated.
However, the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) has refuted the charges framed against the teachers. According to a statement by the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA), the charges have been framed “under Rule 14 of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control, and Appeal), Rules 1965 and invokes sections of the CCS (Conduct) Rules 1964.”
JNUTA in the statement argues that rules such as CSS come in the way of academic freedom and hence should not be applicable to autonomous institutions like universities.
In response to another charge referring to Delhi High court directions that prohibit protests within 100 m of the administrative block, it claims that the high court ruling is applicable only to students.
“Universities are a part of society — speaking up and acting for justice, reform, democratisation, and change is the role that academics must play if they are to give back to society,” it further said.
The JNU Students’ Union has also expressed solidarity with the 48 teachers. Talking to The Logical Indian, JNUSU president N. Sai Balaji said, “It is an illogical and authoritative move by the administration. It is unfortunate that they are punishing the teachers who are teaching their own students.”
Last year, the teacher, many of whom are members of the teachers’ union, had participated in a strike demanding the VC’s ouster, among other things.
The protest was called in response to alleged, “harassment, targeting and humiliation of JNU teachers” by the vice-chancellor, “arbitrary removal and appointment” of chairpersons and deans, and various other administrative and procedural issues.
Following the strike, show cause notices were issued to teachers, and the executive council had formed a committee chaired by professor African studies Ajay Dubey, to look into any violation of rules by the teachers.