Criticising the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration for asking historian Romila Thapar to submit her curriculum vitae (CV), Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has said that the new management doesn’t understand the first thing about education and that universities give the professor emeritus status to honour themselves.
After being slammed for seeking Thapar’s CV, the JNU administration said in a statement that the letter it wrote to her was not sent to discontinue her association with the university but to check whether the professor emeriti is willing and available to offer her services.
“When a professor retires or reaches retirement age and the university doesn’t want to lose its association with that particular person, they grant emeritus status,” Tharoor said. He said that the status of professor emeritus is given by universities to honour themselves.
“It cuts both ways. The professor has an association but no obligation. The universities, too, have no obligation, they don’t pay a salary but they get the person’s name associated with them. That’s why it’s something which gives credibility to the university,” he said.
“Clearly, the new regime in JNU doesn’t understand this. They don’t even understand the value of having such an illustrious figure associated with them. The new people who are running this place don’t understand the first thing about education,” Tharoor said.
They are claiming they are following the rules, but it turns out the rules itself were written last month, he added.
“I am deeply disappointed. It is not just an insult to Thapar, its betrayal of the very traditions of education we are trying to sustain in our country. It’s a shame,” the MP said.