The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) on Friday urged the University Grants Commission (UGC) to revoke the changes it brought about last year on admissions to M.Phil and Ph.D courses in central universities.
The JNUSU called the proposal "discriminatory" against less-privileged students since interview will be the sole criterion for admissions under the new system, against a two-part (enterance test and interview) system earlier.
Terming the UGC guidelines as 'straitjacketed', the JNUSU said adopting these will be akin to reversing decades of hard work put in ensuring level playing field for everyone.
The notification was adopted by the University's Academic Council amid protests by many of its members and students on December 26 last year.
According to it, the enterance test will be reduced to a qualifying exam and selected students will be admitted solely on the basis of interview.
The JNUSU said this was anathema to what was proposed by the Abdul Nafey Committee, which had recommended a reduction in weightage in viva voce (interview) from 30 per cent to 15 per cent.
Before the UGC notification came, the entrance test and viva voce were given weightage of 70 and 30 per cent respectively.
"We are being pushed towards 100 per cent viva-based admission process. It will open the doors for 100 per cent discretion, discrimination and favouritism in admissions," the JNUSU said in a statement.
"We wish to remind the UGC that there is a 1980 five-judge Constitution Bench verdict which forbids any selection process to have more than 15 per cent weightage for viva voce," it pointed out.
The JNUSU also questioned the fate of points given to candidates from disprivileged backgrounds, including for women.
The points are added to combined scores of entrance test and interview which will not be possible under the new system since the test will merely a qualifying exam.