New Delhi: Following protests from students, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has decided that the admission policy for MPhil and PhD programmes will continue to have a weightage of 80% for entrance exam and 20% for viva voce.

The university had last December approved amendments in the admission policy giving 100% weightage to viva voce and reducing entrance examination as a qualifying criteria. The amendments had attracted consecutive protest demonstrations from students. “The admission policy would adhere to all constitutional provisions related to reservation system. There should be a three-tier entrance test consisting of a qualifying test where all students need to get 50% for moving on to the next stage of descriptive type written test and viva voce," the steering committee of admission at JNU said.

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“The ratio of weightage for descriptive type written test and viva voce should be 80:20. Legal opinion should be taken on applying reservation system at the first qualifying test where the qualifying marks is 50%," it added. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Steering Committee of admission of JNU to discuss the relevant portions of new regulations and its impact on the current practices of the university.

“The main concerns of the students were related to the weightage given to written tests and viva voce; status of constitutional provisions on reservations given to the deprived sections of the society in the admission process; impact of the new University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations on the deprivation points given to socially deprived sections of the society," the university said in a statement.

“It was decided that the admission policy would adhere to all constitutional provisions related to reservation system. Current practice of deprivation points given to relevant students in the final selection for admission should continue. The revised policy on quartile points, designating 36 more districts, on the basis of a four-point formula should be adopted. While several members were in favour of phased implementation of a policy that would lead to adoption of the UGC regulations-based student intake, student representatives expressed their opposition to any reduction in the intake," it added.

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Meanwhile, the JNU students union (JNUSU) alleged that the varsity has issued a statement without confirming minutes of the steering committee meeting and false facts have been projected. “We raised strong objections to many of the agenda items as were put by the chair which the administration has not pointed out in the statement. We have written a letter to the committee in this regard and will continue with protests," a JNUSU statement said.

The administration also assured the students that the deliberations and discussions with stakeholders are on and appealed to students who are on hunger strike to immediately end their fast and cooperate with the varsity.