New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) The JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) on Saturday alleged there was incongruity in the process of ratifying Professor Anirban Chakraborti's appointment as the university registrar by the executive council during its meeting a day ago.
The teachers' body also alleged that Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar during Friday's virtual meeting of the executive council chose to mute two elected faculty representatives throughout the discussion on important agenda matters.
The vice-chancellor had appointed Chakraborti, a former dean of the School of Computational and Integrative Sciences, as registrar on March 17, following which the JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA) alleged that there was no Executive Council (EC) meeting to deliberate on the matter.
The EC in a statement after its 294th meeting on Friday said a "few faculty members of JNU have tried to manufacture a controversy over an appointment which is otherwise a routine process", and added that the council has approved the appointment of Chakraborti as registrar.
In a statement, the JNUTA sought to know how was Chakraborti allowed to chair an academic council (AC) meeting on March 22, before the ratification of his appointment by the executive council on Friday.
"While Prof Jagadesh Kumar may have got the EC to ratify the appointment, there are many incongruity that make the process of ratification far from perfect. JNUTA has learnt that Prof Anirban Chakraborti was allowed to attend yesterday's meeting in his capacity as the registrar only after the EC had given its approval.
"However, the question then arises, as to how was Prof Chakraborti allowed to preside as registrar at the 157th Academic Council meeting held on March 22 and issue important notifications before his ratification regarding the AC meeting," it posed.
The teachers' association noted that according to the minutes of the academic council meeting, Chakraborti was recorded both as a member of the council and as incumbent registrar.
"A registrar, according to JNU statutes, is not a member of the academic council, a lapse that had been pointed out by JNUTA in the executive council agenda that had been circulated before," it said.
In response to the JNU administration's charge that a few faculty members were trying to "manufacture a controversy" over the issue, the JNUTA on Friday said that if it hadn't pointed out "the flaws in the process", the administration would have gone ahead "without listing this important matter" for discussion in the EC.
"The fact that there was no call given for an emergency executive council meeting before March 17, the date the former registrar ended his term, nor that the matter was listed in the agenda circulated on March 19, clearly indicates that the caretaker vice-chancellor did not think it important to have the EC deliberate on his decision," it had said.
The teachers' body on Saturday also alleged that Kumar "chose to mute" two of the elected faculty representatives throughout the EC meeting on important agenda matters.
"In fact, without even giving them a chance to speak, he instructed his officers to note their dissent, thus not allowing a discussion, perhaps fearing that more members of the EC could be persuaded to see the point of view of the teacher representatives and add their own dissents," the JNUTA said.
One of the two representatives was allowed to speak later in the part of the meeting dealing with "any other matter", it added.
"JNUTA strongly condemns the selective exercise of discretionary powers by the Chair and the new trend instituted by him of recording raised hands as dissents as laying a dangerous precedent for future meetings," it said.