Jawaharlal Nehru University applied for Institute of Eminence status earlier this month, Vice Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit said on Thursday, five years after the program was notified by the central government.
During a brainstorming session with The Indian Express in August this year, Pandit said the university had not applied for eminence status till then. On Thursday, she said she submitted her application during the first week of this month. “It’s a huge document, we had to include everyone in it because I didn’t want to make it a single school. We included all schools,” she said.
She said among the projects the university wants to work on are a think tank, a JNU publishing unit, a JNU bookstore, a faculty club and the university library.
Pandit said the university insists it will not tolerate student violence. Earlier this month, the university witnessed a clash between two groups of students which resulted in Delhi police registering two FIRs against two students. University authorities had said the violence stemmed from a personal argument that erupted at a birthday party on campus.
The Union Cabinet had approved the UGC “Regulations of 2017 on Eminent Institutions Deemed to be Universities” in August 2017. The regulations aim to create an architecture for 10 public institutions and 10 private institutions to emerge in as world-class institutions, as the country has little representation in the international ranking of educational institutions.
“We have instituted a forensic investigation and have removed almost 10 students from the hostel and (declared them) off university grounds until the investigation is complete. I said birthday celebrations and such things should be done off campus. That’s where it started… At the college level, the dean of students forms a flying squad,” she says.
The university has set up a committee to examine the possibility of filling the reserved seats at the doctoral level and to introduce elements of the deprivation level. Earlier this year, Pandit expressed interest in reintroducing the deprivation point model at the PhD level.
“We are not bringing it in now because the Delhi High Court said it conflicted with reservation policy. We are waiting how we can adjust both deprivation points and booking policies. I am told that previously, we were unable to fill the reserved positions and that they became vacant. Then deprivation points can come into play. If they are not part of the category, can we help students from disadvantaged sections of society like street beggars or transgender people? We have set up a committee because we cannot go against the judgment of the High Court. We have it at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, but not at the doctoral level now. We are asking the committee how we can see that reserved category seats do not become vacant and whether we can use the deprivation points to help other students get into college,” she said.