Delhi: JNU students' union to hold referendum on attendance issue
Continuing agitation against JNU administration's compulsory education (attendance) directive, JNU students' union in Delhi announced it will hold a "referendum" on the issue on 7 March. "JNUSU appeals to students to vote this time in the referendum," JNUSU President Geeta Kumari said. The election committee that held JNUSU elections last year will be deputing some of its members for holding the referendum. Here's more.
JNU research scholars to conduct survey on compulsory attendance
Meanwhile, a group of JNU research scholars claimed they had initiated a survey on compulsory attendance policy within the university on how the initiative would help improve academic excellence as claimed by the administration. The questionnaire, which is restricted to JNU students, is already in circulation and a student with an e-mail ID can participate in it only once, they said.
Questions on absenteeism, academic excellence
The survey questions include how serious absenteeism was on campus for different courses and how does attendance contribute to academic excellence. One of the questions read, "Only a few students are protesting this rule and they are either politically motivated or misled by political parties/JNUSU," with the options ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree with various others in between.
Students can also select multiple answers for questions
Some of the questions in the 22-point survey by the research scholars also allow participants to select multiple answers. The students who initiated the project wished to remain anonymous. Officials from the administration, in a press meet, had said compulsory attendance initiative will improve academic excellence despite the fact that the JNU administration received A++ ranking by NAAC last year.
Foreign universities' students express disagreement with JNU system
Another JNU students' collective claimed to have conducted a similar survey among students of some foreign universities on compulsory attendance. The response from these foreign students showed that none of them had a centralized compulsory attendance at MPhil/PhD level and students from prominent universities like Duke University and Oxford University also expressed disagreement with the JNU system, they said.
JNU administration issued circular making 75% attendance compulsory
Meanwhile, students from around 15 foreign universities including the London School of Economics, South Asian University, Oxford and Columbia University also took part in the survey, the JNU collective claimed. A circular earlier issued by the Jawaharlal Nehru University making 75% attendance mandatory for availing scholarships, fellowships, and other facilities, including hostel, has sparked protests by the university students.