Amid controversy JNU okays UGC notification making viva the sole basis for MPhil, PhD admissions

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Executive Council on Tuesday approved the controversial UGC notification making entrance exam to research courses including MPhil and PhD as mere "qualifying" tests.

Amid controversy JNU okays UGC notification making viva the sole basis for MPhil, PhD admissions

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Executive Council on Tuesday approved the controversial UGC notification making entrance exam to research courses including MPhil and PhD as mere "qualifying" tests.

Vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, the Executive Council (EC) of the university passed a UGC notification that changes the MPhil/PhD admission rules to make oral interviews the sole criteria for selection.


Number of students and professors are protesting against the decision citing that it will lead to discrimination against students from marginalised communities.

The EC meeting held on Tuesday passed almost all agenda items already approved in a previous Academic Council meeting held on December 26. So far, the weightage in JNU was 70% for written exams and 30% for oral exams.

Students have alleged social discrimination in the viva voce, especially against those from marginalised backgrounds. For the past few years, they have been demanding that the weightage to the viva voce be reduced

In fact, a Viva Committee had recommended reduction of viva weightage from 30% to 15% in its meeting on 4 November, as the under-performance of SC/ST candidates in viva over the years was found to be statistically significant.

But during a controversial Academic Council (AC) meeting on 26 December, the adoption of the UGC notification was approved. The final approval was awaited from the EC.

The JNUSU as well as teachers association (JNUTA) held protest outside the EC meeting venue demanding re-convening of Academic Council meetings, held on December 23 and 26, charging that rules were "not followed" in passing notifications.

The JNU administration has decided to form a committee which will give recommendations on the issue.

"The members decided to form a committee to look into the objections raised by some students and teachers. The university is also expected to talk to the UGC with a request to continue its own system," said one member of EC.

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