Scholar-activist Madhu Kishwar has been nominated to the Academic Council (AC) of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in the School of Arts & Aesthetics (SAA) as an external expert for two years by Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, but the move has not gone down well with many.
Being an AC member, Kishwar will hold the power to take calls on the issues related to JNU’s academic policies. As per a report by Indian Express, the university will organise its 143rd AC meeting on May 9 where proposal for various changes in university’s admission policy will be discussed. The discussion will also include deep cuts in the MPhil and PhD seats. Kishwar is a Miranda House graduate and currently works as the founding editor of Manushi, a journal about women published since 1979. Kishwar is also the author of ‘Modi, Muslims and Media: Voices from Narendra Modi’s Gujarat’, a book that speaks about Gujarat violence and its aftermaths.
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The report says that some sections of the faculty including the SAA Dean are not happy with the proposal to appoint Kishwar. Teachers are criticising Kishwar’s nomination on the grounds that her name was not there in the list of experts provided by the School to the VC. As per norms, each school needs to suggest four names from outside the university and VC then selects one.
Speaking to Indian Express about the same, SAA Dean Bishnupriya Dutt said, “We were given a letter asking us to suggest names of experts pertaining to the discipline. We sent six names of people who are prominent in the field of arts. Her (Kishwar’s) name wasn’t part of the list because she has nothing to do with the study of the arts.”
Speaking to Indian Express, Kishwar said that she was not aware of her nomination and that she had not applied for the post. When asked about her reaction on Dutt’s criticism, she said, “Not that I care about the uproar but they should at least look at my CV before they speak nonsense.”