In a first ever referendum against Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, 93 per cent teachers voted in support of the demand of his ouster. The referendum, supervised by external observers, clearly showed that the current vice chancellor should not continue any further, JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) said in a statement. JNU has 586 listed faculty members out of which 300 turned up on Tuesday to cast their votes. As many as 279 of them voted for Kumar's ouster as the Vice Chancellor.
"In a surprise turnout, 300 faculty members out of a total 586 listed faculty of the university turned up to cast their votes... despite the general atmosphere of fear created by the administration. The university has been recently indulging in individual targeting, issuing notices against faculty members who dare to express dissent in any manner," a statement issued by JNUTA reads.
Earlier, the JNUTA found the VC guilty of several charges during the 'public hearing' and declared him unfit for the post. Kumar was found directly involved in the violation of faculty selection procedure, dismantling JNU’s sexual harassment policy, showing a callous attitude towards missing student Najeeb Ahmad among others.
A total of 288 teachers or 96 per cent of those who voted also gave thumbs down to a multi-crore loan demand by the varsity from government through the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA). JNUTA president Sonajharia Minz had earlier said that the loan would place the varsity in an unprecedented situation of indebtedness.
Meanwhile, JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) has decided to boycott the convocation and hold a parallel event ‘Save JNU convention’ to oppose the presence of Kumar at the event. This reportedly forced the administration to shift the venue. However, the administration has termed these reports as baseless.