Millennium Post

Seats in JNU's research-based programmes down 83%

New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University cuts down seats in research by 83 per cent, including integrated Mphil, PhD, JRF and direct PhD, which led to shock wave and disbelief in the student community across India, said students' unions in the campus.
Apart from the fall in seats from 1,174 to 194, the university has scrapped 'deprivation points' (points awarded to applicants from marginalised districts in India) for MPhil/PhD admissions.
However, 139 seats announced as intake in the e-prospectus, the truncated 2017-18 research degree admissions are all set to go down in JNU's history as ones in which the Constitutional guarantees of reservation were not implemented, and where the whole effort of the JNU admission policy was to ensure no admissions.
According to an official, "this shortfall in offers is not because of a paucity of applications, as 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, it must be remembered would have got over 50 per cent in the written examination. Yet, shockingly, only 53 per cent of the seats specified in the intake have been offered."
He also added that only three SC, two ST and 13 OBC candidates have been offered admission in this current academic year.
Furthermore, "the entrance exam has been delinked from the interview for MPhil/PhD candidates, which means that despite scoring well in the entrance exam, the admission of a candidate will be dependent on a candidate's performance in the oral interview," said Prasant Mukerjee, Student Federation of India.
While the JNU administration maintains that these changes are according to the UGC regulations specified in the May 5, 2016 notification, "students of the University said that this move jeopardises the socially inclusive nature of the University," retorted Mukerjee.
Meanwhile, according to a source at the varsity, in this session, there are no seats for the integrated MPhil-PhD course in physical sciences, computational and integrative sciences. Reputed centers like the Centre for Historical Studies and English Studies has not taken a single MPhil or PhD seat this year.
"This admission is in clear violation of the UGC notification, which says that the number of students in a University should be decided by the academic body of the University. The final figures of the seats are atrocious," said Mukherjee.
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