JNU asks historian Romila Thapar to submit her CV, says it wants to check if she can continue as professor emerita

  • JNU has asked notable historian Romila Thapar to submit her CV, so that the varsity can check and decide if she could continue as professor emerita

  • JNU registrar Pramod Kumar, last month, wrote to 87-years-old Thapar and asked her to submit her CV

  • Some other JNU professors have criticised this move of the varsity

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has asked notable historian Romila Thapar to submit her CV so that the varsity can check and decide if she could continue as professor emerita in the institution, reported The Telegraph.

JNU registrar Pramod Kumar, last month, wrote to 87-years-old Thapar and asked her to submit her CV so that a “committee appointed by the university could evaluate” her work and decide whether she should continue as professor emerita.

Once an academician is chosen as an emeritus professor, he or she continues to be one for the rest of their life. Generally, professors of international repute are selected for the post. The post of the professor emerita has no financial benefits, but the academician is allotted a room in the institution to pursue their respective academic works. They are allowed to mentor other research scholars, and also, sometimes conducts lectures for students in the university.

Some JNU professors have criticised this move. One of the senior faculty, who did not want to be named, while speaking to The Telegraph said, “This is a purely politically motivated action. Professor Thapar is a strong critic of policies of privatisation of education, erosion of autonomy of institutions and crushing of dissent by institutions, including JNU."

Thapar has been a teacher and a researcher for many years now. She has specialised in the history of early India. From 1970 to 1991, she was a professor at JNU, and later in 1993, she was chosen as professor emerita. She is a recipient of the prestigious Kluge Prize of the US Library of Congress and has also written numerous books.

Thapar has always been vocal about the current ruling government. In her book, The Public Intellectual in India, she had critically analysed the growing intolerance in India under the Narendra Modi regime. Last year, she was also one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court, who demanded the immediate release of a group of activists arrested with alleged Maoist links, noted the Scroll.

Meanwhile, the university's decision has drawn disapproval among many. Netizens had taken to Twitter to criticise the move. Some of them also demanded a review of Narendra Modi's qualifications.

When asked about the university's move of asking her CV, Thapar said, “It is unfortunate. We are living in strange times” while speaking to the Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 01, 2019 17:09:49 IST