Mark attendance or face salary cut, JNU tells its teachers

New Delhi, December 3: Flexing its muscles, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration has decided to link the attendance of teachers with their remuneration. The move comes days after the JNU teachers’ association (JNUTA) observed a day-long hunger strike against the compulsory attendance norm for faculty members. The 24-hour hunger strike was held on the campus last week.

According to a circular issued by JNU registrar Pramod Kumar last week, the decision was taken during the University’s executive council (EC) meeting. “The executive council in its 277th meeting held on 20 November 2018, noted that some of the faculty members have not been marking attendance despite clear instructions issued by the university and suggested suitable action for violation of this rule. In this connection, the University had issued two separate circulars for compliance of attendance rules by the faculty…. The council decided that compulsory marking of attendance by faculty members should be linked with disbursal of salary of the faculty,” the circular stated.

The registrar has reportedly asked deans of all schools and chairpersons of all special centers to provide monthly attendance records of all faculty members to the administration starting from this month. “Non-compliance will invite appropriate action as per the decision of the executive council,” he said in the circular.

JNUTA slams move, contests decision

Dismissing the move, the JNUTA said the elected teachers’ representatives had written to the EC, contesting that such a decision was taken.

“The matter neither was on the agenda of the 277th EC meeting nor was the papers relating to it placed under the tabled agenda. Describing a brief and inconclusive discussion on the issue in the meeting as the decision of the EC to link marking of attendance with disbursal of salary is a clear-cut act of misrepresentation of facts and brutal act of illegality,” JNUTA president Atul Sood said.

The JNUTA further said that the move has been taken in light of the fact that a hunger strike was launched by the teachers over corruption allegations against the administration. “The reason behind this draconian “no sign, no pay” principle is the administration’s inability to answer questions raised by the JNUTA regarding the financial affairs of the university,” said JNUTA secretary Avinash Kumar.

Emergency meeting to take place

Meanwhile, the teachers’ body has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the future course of action. The compulsory attendance norm has become a bone of contention between the teachers and the administration ever since it was announced in July. The administration had recently announced the installation of a biometric system for teachers’ attendance at the campus.

After denying leaves to teachers who refused to submit their attendance records, the JNU administration has now said that non-compliance of attendance will be linked to disbursal of salaries.