On Monday, Jawaharlal Nehru University refuted charges that marginalised PhD candidates were discriminated against during viva voce, claiming that it had a “fair, transparent, and inclusive admission process.” Members of the PhD selection committee are not provided information on the types of students, according to the university, in order to minimise bias in the process.
PTI/New Delhi, Dec 13: On Monday, the Jawaharlal Nehru University denied that PhD hopefuls from marginalised groups were discriminated against during viva voces, claiming that it maintains a “fair, transparent, and inclusive admission procedure.”
Members of the PhD selection committee are not provided information on the types of students, according to the university, in order to minimise bias in the process.
On Sunday, Aishe Ghosh, president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), claimed that several candidates who appeared for viva voce claimed that they were given very low marks, especially in cases where students are from marginalised sections, in violation of the constitution’s mandated reservation policy.
“The JNU absolutely disputes media claims alleging discrimination against PhD aspirants from underprivileged communities. According to a university statement, “any SC/ST/PWD candidate who passes the JNU entrance exam for PhD admissions is invited to a viva voce, regardless of the number of seats available in their respective categories.”
According to the statement, students from other categories who pass the JNU entrance exam for PhD admissions are called in a certain ratio based on the number of seats available in their category.
“This abundantly displays the university’s care and dedication to the cause of students from marginalised categories by providing an opportunity to every competent SC/ST/PWD candidate,” according to the statement.
“The institution follows a fair, transparent, and inclusive admission policy, which is the cornerstone of its established academic quality,” according to the university, which also noted that the government’s reservation policy for admission into various programmes of study is strictly enforced.
“In order to avoid bias or prejudice, members of PhD selection committees who conduct the viva voce are not provided any information about the candidates’ categories.” During the viva voce, observers from reserved groups are always assigned to guarantee that the candidates are not prejudiced against.