In light of another controversy in the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Students Union on January 12 alleged that Dean of School of Social Sciences Prof Pradipta Chowdhary "wrongfully confined" a group of 25 students. Students of CESP and SSS were forced to stay back till they signed on attendance sheets.
“This is an extremely shocking incident when a faculty coerced students both verbally and physically to sign on a sheet of paper without their consent.” JNUSU statement read.
The incident took place at 2.30 pm in 'Monetary and Banking Institutions' lecture when the students refused to sign the attendance sheet in accordance with the JNUSU's call for the boycott of compulsory attendance, the statement said, adding that Chowdhary refused to allow students to leave without signing the attendance sheet.
Pradipta Chowdhary's appointment as the Dean of School of Social Sciences was done by the Vice-Chancellor ‘superseding seniority of several other professors’; one of the moves by the administration that attracted flak from the teacher's community.
“This coercive action is nothing but a payback of loyalty to the JNU VC. Ever since his appointment, Prof. Chowdhary has been working under directions of the VC, harassing students and staff,” JNUSU President Geeta Kumari said in a statement.
The varsity’s Vice-Chancellor, Jagadesh Kumar, had issued a circular on December 22 asking the students as well as the research scholars of all courses to fulfil the minimum attendance criteria of 75%.
“The recent appointments in JNU are not based on candidates’ academic credentials but political loyalties. There has never been a compulsory attendance rule in the history of JNU. In order to make sure that students attend the classes of such partisan appointments, the VC came up with this farmaan.” Simone Zoya Khan, JNUSU Vice President told Newsclick.
JNU Teachers Association yesterday announced its decision to boycott administration's order making attendance compulsory for students, saying it was an "unproductive" and "meaningless" form of bureaucratic work for teachers.
Early this month, JNU Students Union had too announced its decision to boycott the administration's move.