New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union on Saturday alleged that the prestigious university has approved the appointment of a candidate who was involved in mobilising people in the infamous attack on January 5 which left several students and teachers injured.
JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh alleged that Renu Sain, whose name emerged as the one among the administrators of the WhatsApp group 'Unity against Left', was approved for the appointment by the selection committee in the Centre for Russian and Central Asian studies in the university.
Talking to NewsClick, a professor in the centre, who requested anonymity, said the candidate has been selected and the approval for the appointment is awaited from the Registrar.
Lambasting the move, Ghosh, in a statement, said, "According to verified media reports, one of the persons, Renu Sain who was clearly involved in the planning of the violence over WhatsApp has now been appointed as an Assistant Professor in the School of International Studies."
Recall that various media reports had pointed out that Sain was one among the admins of the group ‘Unity Against Left’. An investigation by the News Laundry had stated: “Our investigation found that Sain’s name was on the Adhoc Panel list of the Delhi University’s Department of Political Science in April, 2018 and Gupta’s name was on the Adhoc Panel list for 2017. The mobile numbers given in the lists match with the ones that were used by them as admins of the “Unity against Left” group."
Ghosh added: "We all know that the VC has been appointing ABVP activists as Assistant Professors irrespective of whether they have the necessary qualification or not. The reason is to do with destroying the academic fabric and the eminent standing of the university. The model of education that the university promotes is such that Nobel prize winners are produced at the most affordable costs of studying, which is an eyesore for the Right wing, which can only be destroyed by simultaneously privatising the university and filling it with ABVP and RSS people who can blunt the intellectual rigor and academics of JNU."
Ghosh alleged that former ABVP activist who were later appointed as teachers in the university, instigated the violence. "Recently appointed Assistant Professors like Jaikhlong Basumatary and Anshu Joshi, took the initiative in attacking students those days [January 4 and 5]... One of the other recent appointees, Tapan Kumar Bihari, who as an ABVP activist, has faced suspension in his alma mater, University of Hyderabad, for violence, has been the Warden of Periyar Hostel and during the violence on January 5, ABVP activists and goons from outside had gathered in his flat with rods and lathis and engaged in heavy stone-pelting on students and even broke the bike of another teacher Amit Thorat," she alleged.
Ghosh appealed to the Ministry of Human Resources Development to enquire into irregularities in the matter. She said: "The appointment of Ms. Sain, who was the admin of the WhatsApp group coordinating the violence, shows that the VC is not recruiting teachers but henchmen who will commandeer rod wielding stone pelting mobs. The JNUSU demands that an enquiry be set up by the HRD on the irregularities in appointments and what appear to be clear cases of corruption and nepotism investigated."
Why appointments, promotions in JNU are under scanner?
The teachers' association has been alleging for long that appointments in the university are being done by breaching the minimum standards of qualifications advertised. The saga of shady appointments allegedly began after former JNUSU Joint Secretary and ABVP member Saurabh Sharma was appointed by ignoring the minimum qualifications in School of Computer & Systems Sciences (SC&SS).
Reports maintain that the screening committee had not found Sharma suitable for the post of Assistant Professor in the centre. He had completed his PhD in Computational Neuroscience and M Tech in Computational and System Biology whereas the advertisement put out in April last year by SC&SS said the candidate “should have M Tech/M Phil/ME in Computer Science”.
In a similar manner, the appointments in the Special Centre for Disaster Research was allegedly conducted by ignoring the specialisations for which the posts were advertised. The centre had three sanctioned positions from the University Grants Commission for the first batch of MA/ PhD students. The advertisement for the post of Assistant Professor (Unreserved) read that the candidate should have "Ph.D., preferably in Disaster Law and desirable experience of comparative case studies, emergency governance and judicial responses to disasters." Similarly, the advertisement also maintained that the candidate should have a Ph.D. in Geography/Geo-spatial Sciences, preferably with field experience of studies on disaster-affected remote regions in the country.
However, the profile of the selected candidates states that their specialisations were distant from the desirable qualifications and experience. Reports suggest that while one candidate who has been appointed to teach hails from corporate law background, another candidate has a PhD in community medicine.
A similar case was reported in the Centre for Historical Studies where teachers Sucheta Mahajan and Mahalakshmi Ramakrishnan alleged that the university “illegally and unilaterally altered the selection criteria for posts of assistant professor in CHS during the selection process”. Responding to the plea, the Delhi High Court had stayed the vacancies in the centre till May 6.
Newsclick tried to contact Renu Sain repeatedly, but failed to get a response.