The HRD Ministry stated that there is no move by the JNU to discontinue anyone's Professor Emeritus status, clearing the air around the controversy over the university seeking CVs of the academicians holding the position of Professor Emeritus, including that of historian Romila Thapar, on Monday.
"We have discussed with the JNU Vice-Chancellor the controversy regarding the Professor Emeritus status in JNU. There is no move to discontinue the Professor Emeritus status to anyone, especially respected academicians. The university is only following the provisions of the ordinance," HRD Secretary R Subramanyam said.
In July, professors holding the position were asked to submit their CV by the varsity's registrar so that they could evaluate the professors' eligibility to continue at the post.
Thapar, a noted scientist R Rajaraman, and former JNU VC Asis Datta, are among the 12 Emeritus Professors above the age of 75, who have received the letters. Apart from them, 25 academicians currently the positions in the university.
The registrar's communication stems from a resolution of JNU's executive council on August 23, 2018, which revised the guidelines for designation as an emeritus professor.
Shortly after the JNUTA statement, the university said it is following its ordinance "in letter and spirit" about the appointment of Professor Emeritus at JNU.
"As per the ordinance, the university is required to write to all those who have attained the age of 75 years to know their availability and willingness to continue their association with the university. Letters have been written only to those emeritus professors who fall in this category," it said.
It also explained that these letters were not for discontinuation but an informed review by the executive council, the highest statutory body of the university, and it is consistent with the practices at other reputed universities such as MIT and Princeton University.
Thapar, however, is unwilling to share her CV with the University. She states that it goes against the basics, as according to her, the status is given for a Lifetime.
(With inputs from PTI)