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JNU: Reverse Rejected Promotions to Teachers After Delhi HC Order, Says JNUTA

Ravi Kaushal |
The teachers’ body has alleged that over 250 teachers have been waiting for their due promotions for more than 7 years.

The promotions of 48 teachers were stopped just because their names figured out in a First Information Report (FIR) for organising a protest, JNUTA said.


New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) on Friday said that the rejected promotions to teachers must be reversed after the Delhi High Court order stating that the promotion process was opaque and hurt the prospects of optimum performance by the teachers.

The teachers’ body had earlier alleged that more than 250 teachers have been waiting for their due promotions for more than 7 years. The crisis remained unresolved even after almost two years of the new Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit in office.

The decision of the rejected promotions was challenged by two teachers, Vinay Kumar Ambedkar and Purva Yadav, in the Delhi High Court where they alleged that the university failed to comply with the procedures laid down by University Grants Commission (UGC).

D K Lobiyal, president, JNUTA, told NewsClick that teachers who paid complete obeisance to the administration were promoted while others had been stopped on flimsy grounds.

The promotions of 48 teachers were stopped just because their names figured out in a First Information Report (FIR) for organising a protest, he said.

In a statement, Lobiyal said that the stance of JNUTA stands vindicated that the procedure followed by the University to not recommend the candidates for promotion, despite their meeting the eligibility criteria, i.e. securing an API score above the minimum threshold, was a violation of the due process and misuse of power by the former VC, M. Jagadesh Kumar, who is currently UGC Chairman.

“The Court has opined that the University did not fully comply with the provisions and merely did a formality by constituting the Screening-cum-evaluation committee as well as the approval of its recommendations by the Executive Council,” the statement read.

Lobiyal added: “The Court concluded that the lack of deliberation in the Executive Council rendered the whole process opaque. The Court remarked that “the decision of the Screening-cum-evaluation committee was rendered final and no discussion took place with regard to the said decision in the Executive Council’s meeting, asserting towards the assumption that the said council is merely to approve anything without applying its mind."

Stating that “promotion of an employee is an important consideration for the individual in their career”, and that “denying of the rightful promotion is something that hinders the optimum performance of the said individual”, the Court directed the University to initiate a fresh process for consideration of the petitioners promotion and to ensure that it strictly adheres to the regulations and the requirements of transparency.”

JNUTA had alleged serious erosion in research and academics owing to arbitrary management of the institution. Apart from promotions, recruitments in the university were also alleged to have been affected as the chairpersons and deans were unaware about the experts coming for interviews. This was in contravention with the rules which suggested that departments would send the names of experts and VC will select among them.

Returning to the question of promotions, Avinash Kumar, secretary, JNUTA, said that the requirement of transparency also applies to the whole process prior to consideration of promotion by a duly constituted Committee. It requires explanation from the University administration as to why applications were pending for so long.

“The Court’s observation that the Executive Council cannot simply rubber-stamp a recommendation or decision without application of mind, which in turn requires the relevant reasons to be placed before the Council, applies to several matters which are only nominally ‘decided’ in the Executive Council, and even the Academic Council for that matter,” he said.

The two specific sets of promotion rejection orders and the retrospective pay revision and recovery notices issued to the retired colleague struck down by the Court together serve as yet another judicial indictment of the mis-governance of JNU that was presided over by the former VC. However, these orders are not simply about the past. They also effectively undermine the legitimacy of the mode of University governance that continues till the present,” the teachers’ body said.

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