Some Jamia Millia Islamia students are demanding the immediate reinstatement of Dhrupadi Ghosh and restoration of basic democratic norms on the campus. The university had a few days ago cancelled the PhD registration of a “bona fide” student Dhrupadi, who according to a statement issued by student body Dayar-i-Shauq Students Charter (DISSC), was active voice on the campus and was victimised for her activism, a claim that the university had denied.
The Pioneer reported on Saturday quoting university media coordinator Professor Saima Saeed, who said: “Cancellation of her PhD registration has got to do nothing with protest. Dozens of protests have taken place in the university campus and nobody has been served any notice. If protesting inside the campus was an issue, other students could have met the same fate. Why only her research has been cancelled as there is more than what meets the eye.”
NDTV talked to an official about the issue to which the reply was quite ‘technical.’ According to the official, Ghosh has a qualification in Fine Arts which is completely (not even remotely) an allied subject of Sociology. Only when the Board of Studies realised it, they decided to cancel her admission, reported NDTV.
A statement issued by DISSC said: “Dhrupadi, who took admission in PhD Sociology in September 2015, has been suddenly ousted from the university, her PhD registration cancelled after two years of research.
“Dhrupadi has not received any official communication regarding the cancellation. She had no inkling that a committee was formed to discuss her PhD cancellation. The entire process took place keeping Dhrupadi in dark, and she has not been informed officially yet. She has been told unofficially but the burden of getting an official communication has been shifted to her.
“No reason has been given to her for the cancellation. She has not been given any warning, let alone a chance to defend her work.
“This arbitrary order of PhD cancellation is in violation of the principle of natural justice and common decency. It is also in violation of Jamia’a academic ordinances, which state: 9. Cancellation of Registration in the Ph.D. Course
“(a) The admission of a PhD student shall be deemed as cancelled if he/she has not submitted his/her Thesis within the time limit, including extensions, as given in Para 7(i).
“(b) The Board of Studies/Committee of Studies shall recommend to the Faculty/Board of Management the cancellation of registration of a Ph.D. student on:
“(i) His/her unsatisfactory progress reported by the concerned Supervisor as per the usual norms of justice.
“(ii) He/she has taken admission in any undergraduate/post-graduate course in any University/Institution.
“(iii) He/she has appeared in any examination in terms of Para 7 (v) without obtaining prior permission from the Board of Studies/Committee of Studies.
“(iiii) His/her admission will be liable to be cancelled if he/she fails to deposit the dues within the period of two months after the due date of payment.
“(c) The admission of a Ph.D. student may be cancelled if found guilty of misconduct of any other nature.
“However, before sending its recommendation to the Faculty/Board of Management, the Board of Studies/Committee of Studies shall give an opportunity to the candidate to explain as to why his registration should not be cancelled. If the Board is not satisfied with the reply given by the candidate, it shall recommend to the Faculty/ Board of Management for canceling his/her registration.
“The Faculty/Board of Management may cancel the registration of the candidate if it is satisfied with the recommendation of the Board of Studies/Committee of Studies. While canceling the registration, the Faculty/ Board of Management shall clearly state the reason for cancellation and notify the student.
“None of the above rules apply to her case. Furthermore, no due process was followed for the cancellation.
“It should be noted that, she was admitted after following due process, with the highest academic body, the academic council fully satisfied with her credentials and academic acumen. She was offered admission by two departments in the field of social sciences: Department of Sociology and Center for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy. She chose sociology. Her guide is satisfied with her academic work.
“On September 15, she was just shown an office order issued by the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences on September 12, which said that her PhD registration has been cancelled with effect from 07.11.2017.
“The campus feels that the only reason behind her victimization is her campus activism. She was vocal on issues like non-payment of dues to workers, implementation of labour laws in the campus, fee hike, scrapping of paper mark sheet of students under the guise of digitalization, hostel for all and such.
“This arbitrary act of PhD cancellation, coupled with the woefully mismanaged examination system, where results are delayed by months has also created a great deal of academic insecurity among the students and scholars.”