On 12 January 2018, the JNU administration put out a circular that stipulated norms for attendance for all students of the university. According to JNU’s circular, a student has to have a minimum of 75% attendance. It also made a further relaxation of 60% limit in case of valid medical grounds. These norms applicable to BA, MA, MSc, MTech, PG diploma, MPhil, Phd and all part-time programmes.
“MPhil and PhD students who are absent from the university on valid academic grounds must have prior approval from supervisor/chairperson of the center concerned and the competent authority”, the circular further clarified.
The new stipulations have been met with opposition from the JNU student body and JNU teachers association. While the teachers association has called maintenance of attendance records a needless bureaucratic exercise, the students have passionately opposed the new attendance rules.
So far the students have held protests against the notification and burnt the circular to express their anger. The JNUSU president Geeta Kumari has conveyed to the JNU administration that the surveillance is going to curtail academic freedom and destroy JNU culture.
A tweet by the handle @jnu_voice carried some disturbing images which mocked the office of Vice Chancellor. The tweet accused him of being loyal to RSS and BJP. A student , who appeared like a middle aged man in his 30s held a khaki pant on which the words ‘Boycott attendance’ was written.
— JNU Voice (@jnu_voice) January 15, 2018
Twitterati responded to the tweet with these responses :
— shyam devsthali (@devsthali_shyam) January 15, 2018
Leftist goons are destroying our academic institutions.
Subsidized food/education fees, doesn’t mean that they have license to create ruckus, disturb the young minds & divert them forcefully for dirty Politics be it caste based or hatred against India.
— ABHISHEK TIWARI (@er08abhi) January 15, 2018
Want to lead an adventurous life? Take admission in JNU
Besides having access to taxpayers money, they also lead a very interesting life. They have new issues everyday but have a very unique solution to each time: PROTEST
Even our PM does not have as many issues as JNU students
— Jigar Zaveri (JZ) (@ca_jigarzaveri) January 15, 2018
The new attendance rules have rattled the status quo in JNU. Though this reform seems to be a right move to instill academic discipline, it has not found support among the faculty and students so far. It remains to be seen how the VC reacts to these protests.