The committee recommended that the school shall offer an integrated five-year BA-MA programme. (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh/ Representational image)

The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is likely to open a new school for traditional music and dance, officials said. At the Academic Council of the university on Tuesday, a proposal for opening School of Indian Traditional Music and Dance, which will be devoted to the study of classical and traditional dance and music, was passed. The matter will now come up in the Executive Council meeting.
However, the teachers’ body expressed reservations about setting up of the new school.

Meanwhile, the JNU Students’ Union said its representatives were not invited to the Academic Council meeting which is against the rules, and threatened to approach the court again if the matter was not resolved. The JNU Teachers’ Association said that the president of the teachers’ body was invited but owing to some engagements, he nominated the secretary to attend the meeting in his place.

However, initially, the secretary was allowed but was asked to leave within five minutes on the instructions of the higher authority, they claimed.

“The TA will take all the political and legal resources at its command to resist this authoritarian and unconstitutional behaviour of the administration. “The Vice-Chancellor is solely responsible for vitiating the peaceful and cooperative atmosphere on the campus,” it said.

They said the agenda of the meeting had proposals with “wide-sweeping changes in the academic character of the university” which will damage the functioning of the academic environment of the university.

The teachers’ body had discussed the issues and had planned to raise it at the meeting. They claimed that a committee to develop the idea of having a new School of Indian Traditional Music and Dance was set up by the Vice-Chancellor without any consultation in the Academic Council, and especially the faculty from the School of Arts and Aesthetics which is already mandated to cover the areas of dance and music as part of its MA, MPhil and PhD programmes.

The committee without doing any wider consultation has submitted its one-page recommendation in haste without any substantive academic reasoning, rationale, objective and design for the new School, they alleged. The committee recommended that the school shall offer an integrated five-year BA-MA programme.

“Such a drastic deviation from the approved and mandated pattern of teaching and learning practice in JNU has been done without any consultation and it speaks in volume about the authoritative functioning by the JNU administration,” they said.
The academic council also passed a proposal for starting courses in Ayurveda, sources said.