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JNU Makes Attendance Compulsory for Students, Research Scholars

The JNUTA president has said that in the 1 December Academic Council meeting no such decision was passed

Published
India
2 min read
File photo of students agitating during one of the protests at JNU in March. 
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In a move that is drawing sharp criticism from students and teachers alike, JNU has decided to make attendance compulsory for all students, including research scholars, as Indian Express reported.

A 22 December circular, signed by Assistant Registrar (Evaluation) Sajjan Singh states:

The Academic Council, in its 144th Academic Council meeting held on December 1,… has resolved to make attendance compulsory for all registered students… Attendance is mandatory from the winter semester 2018, for all students in all programmes, including BA, MA, MPhil and PhD.

The minimum attendance mark has not yet been decided upon, Singh elaborated. Another notice on which he is a signatory states that “the vice-chancellor has constituted a committee of five members to frame the modalities/guidelines for the attendance system and its implementation.”

The five-professor panel received the circular on Tuesday and it is yet to hold its first meeting, said Professor Bijoy Kumar Kuanr, a panel member.

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The JNU teachers’ and students’ associations — JNUTA and JNUSU, respectively — came out strongly against the move.

Ayesha Kidwai, JNUTA president said that in the 1 December meeting, no such decision was passed.

The V-C made a proposal that he will form a committee to look into compulsory attendance. But no decision was taken. It is ridiculous. This is not the way we do things in JNU and we don’t think establishing a police culture is the way to ensure academic excellence.

She also stated that the VC was trying to replicate IIT’s model in JNU.

The Student Union president Geeta Kumari said:

JNU’s academic excellence achieved till date has rested on the philosophy of freedom of debate and discussion, inclusion and equality. The move to impose compulsory attendance is highly absurd.

Also protesting the move is ABVP and Saurabh Sharma from the student group said:

The system has been implemented without any comprehensive, inclusive, participative and academic debate as to how it is going to affect the evolution of a student as a conscientious citizen.

The Registrar, VC and the Rector-I have not yet spoken on the queries related to the matter.

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