New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University has asked renowned historian Romila Thapar, who is a professor emerita at the varsity, to send in her CV so that they can decide if she should continue in the position.
According to the Telegraph, JNU registrar Pramod Kumar said in a letter to Thapar last month that her CV was needed so a “committee appointed by the university could evaluate” her body of work. The report said that other professors were shocked and said that emeritus professors have never been asked to submit their CVs before. According to them, these posts are usually for life.
“This is purely politically motivated action. Prof. Thapar is a strong critic of policies of privatisation of education, erosion of autonomy of institutions and crushing of dissent by institutions, including JNU,” one of the professors told the Telegraph.
An emeritus professor does not receive any financial support from the university, but is given an office where they can work and access university facilities. Thapar, who taught at JNU between 1970 and 1991, was appointed to the post in 1993. Her work is considered essential for students of Indian history, and she has received a number of international awards. These include the Kluge Prize of the US Library of Congress, meant as a lifetime achievement award for categories not covered by the Nobel Prize.
It is unclear why the registrar felt the need to ask Thapar for her CV, since a copy of it is available on the university website.
Thapar’s books include The Public Intellectual in India, The Past before Us: Historical Traditions of Early North India, Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations and numerous others.
Note: In an earlier version of the story, the JNU registrar was incorrectly named as Pramod Nayar.