Nightmarish Visions – Indian government proposal for ‘Institutions of Eminence’: JNUTA

Statement by JNU Teachers’ Association

In early November, the JNU administration forwarded to all Centres/Special Centres/Schools, the Government of India proposal to establish twenty “Institutions of Eminence” to achieve world class status, from amongst the existing Government/Private institutions and new institutions from the private sector. It conveyed its intentions to submit an application to the UGC under the scheme and has asked Centres/Special Centres/Schools to provide comments on Part-1 – III [Vision for Institute of Eminence], Part-1 – IV [proposed fifteen year strategic plan], and Part-1 – VI [Proposed five years implementation plan] of the attached proforma.

This note from JNUTA is first to direct colleagues’ attention to the serious debate that this GoI plan has occasioned, in a country where higher education has simply failed to deliver in terms of access, quality, and justice — with a Gross Enrolment Ratio of just 20.4, as per the All India Survey of Higher Education (2013), it is the responsibility of educationists to query whether an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore on ten institutions is warranted in the first place. (Please see the following pieces in favour of the proposal, and against it, in particular). Given that the goal of this whole initiative is a limited one of achieving a breakthrough into the world top 100 rankings, the teaching community must thoroughly discuss what rankings are good for anyway, and what significance the term ‘world class’ truly signifies, if the goals of education are essentially humanist and necessarily inclusive in character.

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Sexual Harassment in the Academia – What the Hitlist Misses: Debaditya Bhattacharya and Rina Ramdev

This is a GUEST POST by DEBADITYA BHATTACHARYA and  RINA RAMDEV

 

The past few years have not allowed us the respite to prepare for a fight. We were perpetually donning our war-gear – often forced without necessary ammunition into a battle that raged through parliaments and streets and colleges and colonies and our doorsteps. There was no time to strategise, no time to theorize, no time to bargain and no time to compose ourselves for the next day’s onslaughts. And yet, the onslaughts never abated. The mundane was coupled with the spectacular, the anti-national with the terrorist, the intellectual with the condom-user, the dissenter with the stone-pelter, and the everyday with the genocidal. Continue reading “Sexual Harassment in the Academia – What the Hitlist Misses: Debaditya Bhattacharya and Rina Ramdev”

Response to ‘From Feminazi to Savarna Rape Apologist in 24 hours’: Sayantan Datta

Guest post by SAYANTAN DATTA

 [Note- The author believes that the structure of language has mirrored the patriarchal structure of the society, and therefore they practices aungendering mechanism persynally by neutralizing gendered roots of some words.]

I write this from my persynal discomfort with Prof.Menon’s recent response – this, although situated in the ‘Name and Shame’ debate, doesn’t derive anything more than grounding from it; this response is based on what Prof. Menon writes in the blog, and my somewhat naïve, but absolutely honest thoughts about it.

Firstly, I would like to myntion my constant and almost stagnant disapproval of how our loci as feminists are suddenly becoming one of legal negotiation – I refuse to engage in such a form of reimagining of feminism that, as she duly points out, has taken decades to strengthen its voice. She, in her response, points at ‘an atmosphere in which Indian courts are increasingly referring to ‘false’ complaints of domestic violence, and ‘misuse’ of rape laws, it is incumbent upon feminists to establish to the extent possible, context and explanation around our claims of sexual harassment’.

Continue reading “Response to ‘From Feminazi to Savarna Rape Apologist in 24 hours’: Sayantan Datta”

Petition to President of India, Visitor of BHU from Alumni of the University

BHU, Banaras Hindu University, BHU violence, BHU lathicharge, bhu female students protest, BHU lathicharge, Benaras Hindu University, yogi adityanath, bhu students beaten, indian express newsTo

The President of India

Visitor

Banaras Hindu University

Sub : On recent agonising developments in Banaras Hindu University

Dear Sir

We alumni of Banaras Hindu University would like to convey to you our sense of concern about the recent developments at our alma mater namely Banaras Hindu University. Developments which have brought forward the issue of safety and security of girl students on the campus and administrations callous attitude towards it. Continue reading “Petition to President of India, Visitor of BHU from Alumni of the University”

Against the De-politicization of Mental Health- Harassment is Not a Myth: Simple Rajrah

Guest post by SIMPLE RAJRAH

This article is written in response to the article Activism as a blue whale challenge by Manu Joseph that first appeared in Livemint.

“Our love is constructed. Our beliefs colored. Our originality valid through artificial art. It has become truly difficult to love without getting hurt”

Dalit Scholar Rohith Vemula, who was institutionally murdered.

Often academic interests die a quiet death due to crassly political reasons but they die yet again, due to non-recognition and to their relentless reduction to the apolitical. Much as there must be emphasis on seeking solutions to the troubles that humanity is facing, it cannot be ignored that reducing the ‘root’ cause of everything to the realm of ‘apolitical’ can be academically simplistic and politically dangerous.  And why must there be an obsession with relegating everything to the ‘apolitical’ domain? Why do journalists who continually work within political systems still consider depression to be something external to the sphere of politics? Why must there be academicians who discount historicity and complexity by equating violence with counter violence? And why, similarly, must there be politicians who condemn violence on ‘both sides’? Because, even a simple reading of the political should reveal its association with power, challenge its centralization, and more importantly the show up the invisibilization that generates hegemony.

Continue reading “Against the De-politicization of Mental Health- Harassment is Not a Myth: Simple Rajrah”

Delhi University’s Students Union Elections and the Discreet Charm of Exceptionalism: Rina Ramdev

This is a guest post by RINA RAMDEV

 

Public discourse on Delhi University’s staging of student union elections typically picks the ubiquitary narratives of money, muscle power and its floutings of Lyngdoh guidelines, year after clamorous year. College campuses, arterial roads and their flooding by posters, both in excess of their expenditure limit (Rs 5000 per candidate) and their prescribed nature (printed, as against handmade), as also the prohibited yet brazen processioneering of SUV armies, are experiences annually played out in tedious familiarity. Mainly configured as a contest between the NSUI and the ABVP (even as the AISA has in its recent resurgence, negotiated a space for Left politics beyond the two party dominance), the Presidential wins and panel sweeps are usually congruent with the dips and surges experienced by their parent political party on the national stage. Continue reading “Delhi University’s Students Union Elections and the Discreet Charm of Exceptionalism: Rina Ramdev”

The Need to Integrate the Sciences for an Integral Society: Vikas Bajpai

Guest post by VIKAS BAJPAI

There couldn’t be a more opportune time than the present moment in India’s history for an impassioned cry for science to arise from the scientific community in the country. On the 9th of August 2017 scientists from across India carried out the ‘March for Science’ in twenty six cities with the plea addressed to the Prime Minister of the country demanding that:

the Government to uphold Article 51A of the Constitution and to restrain the attempts that run counter to the development of scientific temper, human values and spirit of inquiry enshrined in the Constitution (Organizing Committees of the India March for Science in different cities, 2017).

It was further stated:

Science is not a set of beliefs. Science tries to understand the laws governing the material world and society following a well-established methodology where nothing is accepted without evidence. Thus science has created a body of knowledge that has been tested by practice, which provides the basis for advancement of society. That is why it is now an established canon of governance that all decisions that impact people’s lives should be based, not on personal beliefs, but on scientific evidence (ibid).

Within days, Avijit Pathak, a sociologist teaching at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University wrote his piece, the ‘Hubris of Science’ in The Indian Express as a rejoinder to this ‘March for Science’.

Continue reading “The Need to Integrate the Sciences for an Integral Society: Vikas Bajpai”