NEW DELHI: In a shocking move by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration, only 75 students were admitted to MPhil/PhD programmes in 2017-18, even as 194 seats had been sanctioned for the academic session.
"This shortfall in offered seats was not because of a paucity of applications. In each Centre/School for which information is available, there were enough applications. In most cases, there were enough candidates called for the viva-voce, all of whom would have got over 50 per cent in the written examination (which is the eligibility requirement)," said a source.
He added that only 53 per cent of the seats specified in the intake have been offered. Moreover, each programme – barring two which had one seat each) – has registered a shortfall when compared to the seats announced in the e-prospectus.
In a Facebook post on her timeline, JNU Teachers' Association president Ayesha Kidwai alleged "a complete failure to satisfy the constitutional provisions for reservations and the Central Educational Institutions (CEI) Act," just at the stage of offers alone.
She said that only three SC candidates, two ST candidates, and 13 OBC candidates have been offered admission.
It is highly unlikely that either the numbers or the overall percentage for reservation will improve significantly once the complete data is available, as the number of seats left to be accounted for are less than a hundred.
The Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Admissions) Act 2006, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations on minimum standards and procedure for admission of MPhil and PhD degrees have been violated by the JNU administration, she claimed.
The 2006 Act mandates OBC reservations in central higher educational institutions and the Centre had decided to increase the intake in all teaching programmes by 54 per cent, so that admission numbers in the general category would not be affected.
The Act says that the number of seats has to be fixed as on the date of the coming into force of the Act and cannot be reduced thereafter; unless the revised intake is approved by Parliament.
The intake in the MPhil/PhD programme in JNU was reduced from 1086 to 102 seats in 2017-18.