Amid student protests against the allegedly discriminatory marking of PhD aspirants from marginalised communities, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Monday, 13 December, said that it adheres to “a fair, transparent and inclusive admission policy.”
"Jawaharlal Nehru University categorically rejects the reports in certain sections of media alleging discrimination against PhD aspirants from marginalized sections of the society," a statement released by the university said.
"As per the Admission Policy adopted by the University, every SC/ST/PWD candidate who qualifies JNU Entrance Examination for PhD admissions is called for viva voce irrespective of the number of seats available for admission in their respective categories... This amply reflects the concern and commitment of the university to the cause of the students from the marginalized categories in providing an opportunity to every qualified SC/ST/PWD candidate."JNU
JNU Students' Union President Aishe Ghosh on Sunday had alleged that several candidates who appeared for the viva voce had said that they were given very low marks. In many of these cases, the complainants were from marginalised sections of the society.
"What's happening in JNU Entrance viva-voce needs to be exposed. Students coming from marginalized sections been marked 1 or 2 out of 30. The JNU Administration need to answer that what is making them take such discriminatory policies?" Ghosh had said.
The central university, however, denied these charges and stated that the panel of selectors are not apprised of the social background of the students, in order to eliminate bias.
"The members of the PhD Selection Committees who conduct the viva voce are not provided with the information regarding the categories of the candidates in order to eliminate any bias and prejudice whatsoever. The Observers belonging to reserved categories are appointed invariably to ensure that no discrimination is done to the candidates during the viva voce," JNU's director of admissions said.
The JNU strictly implements reservation policy of the government of India for admission into various programmes of studies, as per the university's statement.
BSP MP Brings UP JNU Admission Issue in Parliament
Addressing the education minister in the Parliament, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Ramji Gautam on Tuesday raised the issue of alleged bias and discrimination in the admission process for the JNU.
The MP said that the students from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class (OBC) sections were being discriminated against during viva voce as they were given extremely low marks (1 to 3 out of 30).