JNU VC appoints a junior faculty as dean of the school of social sciences

JNU VC appoints a junior faculty as dean of the school of social sciences
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) M Jagadesh Kumar has kicked up a fresh row by appointing a junior faculty of the varsity as dean of the school of social sciences (SSS).

The JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) flayed the vice chancellor for his decision, saying as many as five senior faculties of the varsity were superseded to appoint Pradipta K Chaudhary as the Dean of the SSS.

“The JNUTA is dismayed to find that despite its oft-iterated position on the importance of observing seniority as the sole guiding principle in the appointment of Deans and Chairpersons, the Vice-Chancellor has flouted this long-established convention in the appointment of Dean of the School of Social Sciences,” the teacher's body said in a statement.

Chaudhary is sixth in the line of seniority as he was appointed on February 9, 2001, they added. “The vice chancellor, in exercise of his powers vested in him under Statute 7(1) of the Statutes of the University, has appointed Pradipta K Chaudhary, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences as Dean, School of Social Sciences for a period of two years with effect from October 1,” the University's assistant registrar Ravikant Sinha stated in an office order issued on September 29.

The JNUTA noted that the University administration conveyed to them that the vice chancellor need not use seniority as the guideline since the JNU Act does not have any such provisions.

“There shall be a Dean for each School of Study who shall be appointed in such manner and with such powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Statutes,” the JNU Act stipulates.

The teacher's body, however, refused to accept the University administrations interpretation of the JNU Act, contending that the provisions of the JNU Act are “fleshed out and enforced” in the University both through the Rules and Regulations and “established convention, which has the force of law.”

The “most obvious reason” is that the vice chancellor and his administration have faced stiff opposition from the Deans of the large schools in the “destruction” of the university’s admission policy and research programmes, and the attacks on faculty, the JNUTA claimed.

"The supersession of five faculties in the SSS is not merely the result of an elimination of known ‘trouble-makers’, but is a malafide act of victimisation, for four of the five faculties,” it added.
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