Strange decision by the ‘Woman’ Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia against Women’s Studies Centre.

By Shams Tabrez Qasmi

Today, world is grappling with a pandemic situation due to covid 19 which is effecting the economic growth of every country and governments are doing everything so that people are provided for and do not lose their jobs and livelihood. In this background, a very strange shocking decision has been undertaken by a ‘Woman’ Vice Chancellor of a central university with regard to the women’s studies centre in its institution. It has advertised 6 teaching positions of Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women’s Studies (SNCWS). All of these positions were UGC planned posts which have already been merged by the UGC a year ago along with the direction that the incumbents working there be merged into the university system. However, to everyone’s shock on Friday evening the advertisement of Teaching positions was out.

Five faculty members, one professor, two associate professors and two assistant professors are already working there on these posts. And some of them have been there since 15-16 years. Hence, advertising and removing the incumbents out of their regular jobs with the new advertisement when everyone is fighting a pandemic must be very mentally taxing and insecure for the stakeholders.
This unprecedented development is shocking and faculty members already working are very much worried without a clue of what happened and how.
Jamia’s Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women’s Studies is the second oldest Centre of the University, and one of the most prestigious women’s studies Centre in the country.
It has been contributing in academia for decades. Such an injustice against a women’s studies centre speaks volumes of the seriousness about the issue of ‘women’s empowerment’ by the first ‘Woman’ Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia. Moreover the obsession to close down such a prestigious centre was pre-planned in a way for in the first week of April the VC had already attempted to seal the centre. The decision was later withdrawn due to external pressures. It is very disappointing and disheartening that such a strange decision was taken again when the whole world is suffering from mental stress and uncertainty and level of stress given to employees in such a situation must be beyond imagination.

This decision is totally discriminating and arbitrary and must be cancelled immediately as incumbents are already working for long and some for more than one decade.

M Qaisar Siddiqui is a young journalist and editor at Millat Times