JNU teachers oppose decision to mark attendance every day
New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association (JNUTA) on Monday observed a day-long hunger strike against the JNU administration's decision making it mandatory for them to mark their attendance every day. "We would like to reiterate that the decision to go on hunger strike by JNUTA was taken because the administration is hell-bent on destroying the teacher learning process in JNU. Moreover, JNUTA demands that arbitrary circulars regarding the rescheduling of the academic calendar and compliance of faculty attendance be immediately withdrawn," the teachers' union said in a statement.
It also opposed the installation of biometric machines for marking attendance and the administration's recent decision to hold online entrance test for admission of students, emphasising that the tests must be offline in the pen and paper form as earlier.
However, the JNU authorities decried the hunger strike at the prohibited administrative block at the university as vitiating. "Despite several requests from the JNU administration to JNUTA office-bearers to maintain peace in the campus and not to hold their 'dharna' (sit-in) near Administration building, which is a prohibited area for such activities not only by JNU ordinance but also by the direction of the honourable high court, the JNUTA leadership is holding their dharna," the JNU said in a statement.
"It is evident that JNUTA office-bearers are determined to vitiate the academic environment in the university," the university said.
"The JNUTA call for hunger strike is superficial as the demand for dialogue is for public consumption only. By such unwanted activities, JNUTA is also setting wrong precedents for students by calling for strikes in the prohibited areas. The administration appeals to the teaching community not to pay heed to JNUTA's call for a lawless campus," it added.
JNUTA is doing nothing illegal. Peaceful hunger strike is very much as per our constitutional rights, JNUTA president Atul Sood said. He said that there was no disturbance on the campus, all activities including exams and presentation went as scheduled. He also alleged that the JNU through its official statements is spreading factually incorrect and lying about disruption of academic activities.
He also added that the administration has refused to allow even basic infrastructure such as mattresses and blankets for faculty sitting on hunger strike at the administration block, so, hunger strikers are now spending the night in the open at the administration block. "JNUTA's struggle continues against the regime of intimidation, misuse of power and misinterpretation of rules prevailing in the university," professor added.