A day after, JNU administration issued charge-sheet to 48 teachers for participating in a protest in July 2018, JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) condemned the move and said that they were being “selectively and vindictively targeted”.
Responding to the charge-sheet against 48 teachers, JNUTA said that imposition of Central Civil Services rules is being initiated against individual teachers with the sole goals of harassment and intimidation.
The charge sheet was framed under Rule 14 of the Central Civil Services (Classification, Control, and Appeal) Rules 1965.
In a statement, the teachers’ body said that the JNU administration was targeting teachers for “raising their voices against the misdeeds and mismanagement of the university”.
JNUTA noted that the imposition of CCS rules in one university will lead to reverberations in all others and will have an adverse impact on higher education.
JNUTA vowed to resist any attempt to impose CCS rules on JNU teachers, saying “they are antithetical to the idea of a university and are thoroughly unsuited and inapplicable to activities that involve teaching and research”.
The teachers also pointed out that former Minister for Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, in a tweet on October 20, 2018, had said: “We have neither put any restrictions not intend to put any restrictions on Freedom of Speech in JNU, DU or any other university.”
Meanwhile, civil society has launched an online campaign against JNU administration and said that applying CCS rules to universities will put a blanket ban on freedom of speech and expression.
“The blanket caution against any political movement or activity would mean that teachers’ participation in mass rallies or collective mobilisations - even of the nature witnessed around the Nirbhaya rape case –might now constitute a breach of service rules and thus invite punishment. Even a faculty member who is part of a women’s collective or who writes a joint representation against gender-based discrimination could be treated as guilty of misconduct.
The net result would be a chilling effect on free speech and will deprive teachers of the means to alert the government and Parliament to violations of policies and laws by university administrations.
We demand that the charge sheets issued to the JNU faculty be withdrawn, and the attempt to impose CCS rules on college and university teachers across the country be halted forthwith,” reads the online petition.