A prominent member of Bharat’s Educational ‘Ivy League’, JNU, has garnered more print space and air time in the past fortnight than its entire history for the ruckus it is doling out instead of the envisioned high-quality research. As a proud student of JNU, it hurts to see my Alma Mater violated by ill-informed media persons and ill-intentioned politicians trying to settle personal scores and ill-focused students trying to make a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for Bharat’s finest scholars look like a Woodstock gathering of sloganeers. Is there a way out of this morass? Yes, there is. A few suggestions in this regard-
The first and foremost, is the need to rationalise subsidies. Bharat has had a long and distinguished history of patronising scholars and scholarship, as knowledge has always been held on a high pedestal. The age-old practice of providing scholars and seekers of knowledge every possible comfort in order to provide a conducive atmosphere to pursue Goddess Saraswati has been increasingly misused in Kalyug. The inspiration for free speech protests emanate from a ‘free-for-all’ atmosphere that defy all rules of economics, mathematics and logic.
The second suggestion for revamping JNU, is the insistence on qualitative, time-bound and result-oriented research. It is noticed that with passage of time in a secure and super-economic campus, students become complacent and addicted to a happy-go-lucky, laid-back ‘ghettoised life’. They forget that they came to this temple of knowledge to learn the art of gyan yog.
Monitoring the students to ensure time-bound and high-quality completion of course and research work, is an essential prerequisite to re-establish JNU as a ’Centre of Excellence’. Academic accountability, is the need of the hour for JNU as well as many other decaying centres of excellence. The teachers at JNU must strengthen Education-Industry interface to make the research more relevant and societal friendly.
Finally, inculcate the spirit of ‘Nation First’. Nothing is above Motherland. The sources of funding should be made public.
Aayushi, School of International Studies (1998-2002)
Director of J&K Study Centre