The Left has had a clean sweep again in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), this time in the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) polls. The polls were conducted this Thursday, November 1 and the counting went on till late in the evening. JNU experienced 91% voter turn out with most teachers coming out to protect the democratic ethos of the University.
JNU is immersed in celebrations as reportedly the administration backed panel has been defeated by the “progressive” panel backed by Left forces. This has led to a complete decimation of the administration backed panel supported by the VC Jagadesh Kumar.
The panel led by Atul Sood from the School of Social Sciences won as Atul was chosen the President by the collective will of those who voted. Milap Punia from SSS who led the other panel for the post of President lost. Reportedly, Prof. Punia had fought the election “opposing the negative approach of the former representatives of the JNUTA that they have meted towards the true interests of teachers.” Prof. Punia’s panel has alleged that there was an “absence of dialogue” between the administration and the JNUTA.
Prof. Sood’s panel had said that the greatest challenge that they will face after winning would be to resist the ongoing institutional consultation between the various stakeholders of the university.
Rejoicing their victory, the JNUTA progressive panel also came up with a video:
While appealing for votes the JNUTA had said, “We seek your vote to fight a ‘national waste’ and restore the running of the university.”
It had flagged off several issues saying that the JNUTA didn’t represent the administration but the “collective will of the teachers.”
It said that the policies were being ‘announced’ and not ‘decided. It had alleged that the VC was “hand-picking” and that “elected teachers, students, officers, and statutory bodies are not acknowledged, treated as misconduct, made the grounds for removing Chairpersons and other penalties.” The JNUTA has also been seriously questioning the contradictions in the administration’s approach where it is callous about basic facilities like water on campus while at the same time it envisages “paying the debt-servicing of a Rs. 515 crore HEFA loan, to spend crores on an online examination, and to rush to sign an MoU with MHRD that will put the seal on privatization.” It had alleged that students were being made to live in a “slum like condition”. It had questioned Library rules and budget cuts apart from the degrading quality of courses.
The JNUTA had demanded that the authorities should immediately restore the functioning of the faculties, boards, schools, councils as per the JNU act.
The JNUTA, over the last four years has consistently “fought against the undoing of the university” as experienced by several groups on the campus. It is being felt that the JNUTA results will embolden the struggle against forces that seek to “dismantle the JNU.”
The complete results are as follows:
*JNUTA 2018-19 Elections Final Tally* (after including postal ballots)
Total Votes Polled: 518
_Vice-President (2 posts)_
_Joint Secretary (2 posts)_
Parnal – 329
_School Rep SSS_
_School Rep SIS_
SN Malakar- 58
_School Rep SL_