Move to control students freedom? JNU makes minimum 75% attendance compulsory 

New Delhi, Jan 11: Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has made a minimum 75 percent attendance compulsory for all students.

However, if a student is absent on valid medical grounds then 60 percent attendance will suffice.

The circular issued by Assistant Registrar(Evaluation) Sajjan Singh, based on recommendations of the compulsory attendance committee, said, for students of BA, MA, MSc, MTech, PG diploma, MPhil, PhD and all part-time programmes a minimum of 75 percent attendance in a course is mandatory for appearing in the end-semester examination.

“If a student of a part-time programme, BA, MA, MSc, MTech, PG diploma, Mphil and Ph.D. coursework is absent on valid medical grounds, a minimum 60 percent attendance will suffice,” it said.

When contacted, Sajjan Singh was not available for comments.

The committee, whose recommendations have been accepted, has also said at least two contact/interaction sessions with the supervisor in a month is mandatory.

“MPhil and Ph.D. students who are absent from the university on valid academic grounds must have prior approval from supervisor/chairperson of the center concerned and the competent authority,” the circular said.
The MPhil and Ph.D. students have also been granted 30 days leave in an academic year with the supervisor’s permission.

“An attendance sheet which has been attached with the circular will be completed for each lecture/practical/lab by course instructor/teacher. The sheet will be submitted by the teacher on the same day at center/school office,” the circular said.

The center/school office will maintain the attendance records and a copy of the sheets will be submitted every month, it added.

JNU Teachers Association yesterday announced its decision to boycott the compulsory attendance for students and said it was “unproductive” and “meaningless” form of bureaucratic work for teachers.

The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) on Monday met Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar and submitted 2,500 signatures of students who had expressed dissent on the implementation of attendance.

JNUSU president Geeta Kumari said the union had put forward its views on how the system would curtail academic freedom and destroy JNU’s academic culture. “We tried to explain how students of the campus attend lectures not just in classrooms, but also at dhabas and hostel mess. Learning is a 24×7 process for JNU students, and as responsible adults, students have never denied their responsibility,” said Ms. Kumari.

The union has requested all students to boycott signings of the attendance register said that they would continue their fight to uphold academic freedom on campus.

It is strongly believed that the new move by the University authorities is on view to control the political freedom of the campus and some students from the University says that the ruling party’s hand is in behind the decision.

(With Agency Inputs)