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JNU and the culture of silence: Instead of stifling voices, it should be open about gender injustice

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Protest against Baba Ramdev lecture in JNU hyper-elitist: Students

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Group of JNU students oppose invite to Ramdev to speak at an event

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PM Modi’s visit fruitful only if Pakistan stops sending terrorists, says Praveen Togadia

The VHP leader said he was not averse to jeans and modern education, but stressed that “we want our youths to respect our rich culture and their parents and go to temples”. Togadia also said that VHP will put pressure on the government to make a law to counter “love jihad”.

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Increase in sexual harassment cases: JNU implores students and faculty to maintain confidentiality

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JNU professor sacked for alleged sexual abuse of foreign student

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The decision was taken today at an emergent meeting of of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Executive Council (EC), the varsity’s statutory decision making body.

Jawaharlal Nehru University
File Photo

JNU on Monday terminated services of an assistant professor after a varsity inquiry committee found him guilty in a case of alleged sexual harassment filed by a foreign scholar pursuing research under him. The decision was taken today at an emergent meeting of of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Executive Council (EC), the varsity’s statutory decision making body. The complainant, a Bangladesh national, was pursuing research under the professor’s supervision in the varsity’s Department of Sociology.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A research scholar from Bangladesh working under supervision of the professor, had alleged that she was sexually abused by the professor. Subsequently, an inquiry was instituted by the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), the university watchdog for dealing with such issues,” official sources said.”In its enquiry, the GSCASH found him guilty and recommended action against him, following which the EC meet was called to take a call on the issue. The EC decided to terminate his services with immediate effect,” they added.Meanwhile, repeated calls and text messages to the professor for his comments on the issue went unanswered.The EC’s decision comes at a time, when JNU is under criticism over the maximum number of sexual abuse cases reported from all the higher education institutes in the country.Only last week, Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani had informed the Lok Sabha that 25 cases of sexual harassment were reported from JNU in 2013-2014, the highest among 104 higher education institutions from where such matters were reported, according to the University Grants Commission (UGC) data.Last month, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal had also said that as much as 50 per cent of the 101 sexual harassment complaints filed in 16 educational institutions in the national capital since 2013 were from JNU.The varsity had recently notified its new sexual harassment policy which also includes a penalty provision for false complaints filed before the probe panel. GSCASH was instituted by the university in 1999 under the Vishaka guidelines of the Supreme Court. The panel has representatives from JNU Students Union (JNUSU), JNU Officers’ Association (JNUOA), hostel wardens, faculty and administrative staff.However, a group of JNU teachers had last month questioned the working of GSCASH, alleging that its “processes are perverted”.Demanding that JNU be a “gender-sensitive and gender-just” campus, a group of teachers has written an open letter to the varsity administration seeking its intervention to improve the functioning of GSCASH.The teachers had also alleged that the confidentiality with regard to complaints was being “blatantly violated”, leading to defaming the complainants and the putting their integrity on “public trial”. The committee had come out with a clarification saying that “it engages and encourages the community to file such cases in a confidential manner, without engaging unwanted attention and speculation at the same time”.

JNU to introduce three new MA courses in art, film and theatre

“The Board of Studies of the School of Arts and Aesthetics had recommended for introduction of the three courses. The proposal was mooted in July and discussed and approved by the board before placing the same before the council,” Sopory said.

Jawaharlal Nehru University will introduce three Masters programmes in film and television, art history and theatre from the next academic session.”The university will be offering three new MA programmes from the next academic session. The courses will be MA in Art History and Visual Studies; MA in Film, Television and New Media Studies; and MA in Theatre and Performance Studies,” JNU’s Vice-Chancellor S K Sopory told PTI.The varsity’s Academic Council (AC) had given a go-ahead for introduction of these courses in its recent meeting.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Board of Studies of the School of Arts and Aesthetics had recommended for introduction of the three courses. The proposal was mooted in July and discussed and approved by the board before placing the same before the council,” Sopory said.”The preamble as well as the courses to be taught and credit requirements for the three programmes have been worked out,” he added.The AC, which is the decision-making body of the university, had in the meeting also taken note of a proposal to open ‘School of Indian Languages’ which will offer Masters programmes and research courses in Hindi, Urdu, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, Assamese, Bengali and Odia languages.The proposal has now been forwarded to various departments of the university and the matter will be placed before the AC after their feedback has been received.The AC, however, rejected a proposal for introduction of short-term courses in ‘Indian Culture’ and ‘Yoga’ for “propagating spiritual and mythological traditions and establishing Indian values in the world”.

Occupy UGC students to protest Kolkata lathicharge on students

The protest, that started with a call from the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), will now be led by a core committee comprising students from central universities in Delhi such as JNU, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia.

Days into their protest student groups, who are part of the Occupy UGC movement, took out a resolution to spread their call to the rest of the country. They also declared a march, starting from the office of the University Grants Commission to the ministry of human resource and development, on November 5. On Tuesday, students protesting in front of the UGC office in New Delhi burnt effigies of HRD minister Smriti Irani and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for a police lathicharge on student groups, protesting in Kolkata on Monday. Only last week, protesters in Delhi were also lathicharged by the Delhi police deployed there for trying to push back barricades.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The protest, that started with a call from the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU), will now be led by a core committee comprising students from central universities in Delhi such as JNU, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia. The protest began when the University Grants Commission decided to roll back non-NET scholarships, which most research students heavily depend on. It has now taken on the cause of not only keeping the scholarships intact but also increasing their amount and extending them to state universities. Though the MHRD has stopped the UGC from rolling back scholarships students are demanding that the amounts be increased. According to one of the protestors, Pondicherry University, Madras University, Jadavpur University among a few others have been responding to their cry for a nationwide students’ movement. The protests in front on the UGC office are heavily surrounded by deployed police and Rapid Action Force personnel have seen students camping out through nights on end as they demand that UGC scrap the review committee that will decide on the fate of scholarships and bring in an enhancement committee to increase the scope of scholarships. Apart from sloganeering and chanting, student groups have been trying to be as creative as possible in their protests, with a bunch of them singing parody versions of popular Bollywood songs to criticise the UGC. When a bunch of them burst into “O Zulamiya”, riffing off “O Womaniya”, even the police personnel found it difficult to not laugh and cheer. Angry over various government-imposed measures, the UGC protest is the latest in a series of students’ protests across the country. Pondicherry University students raised their voices for long against their allegedly corrupt vice-chancellor, and only recently did the Film and Television Institute of India call off its 140-day-long strike against right-wing government appointees in the FTII society and the Delhi College of Art went on strike for a month in September, demanding a modern syllabus, better infrastructure that includes functional toilets for students.

dna Must Reads for afternoon: From Bihar polls to JNU students, professors being tagged ‘Naxals’ by Subramanian Swamy

RK Singh

1. Bihar Polls: BJP MP RK Singh slams party, alleges tickets being sold to criminalsFormer Union Home Secretary and BJP MP RK Singh has dropped a bombshell, accusing the Bihar unit of the party of taking money for distributing tickets. Read more here.2. Sikhs, Patels protest against PM Modi outside UN headquarters<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of Sikhs and the Patidar community supporters have demonstrated outside the UN headquarters in New York, coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Sustainable Development at a special UN summit. Read more here.3. Modi agrees to Indian American couple’s request, will write to Obama about Diwali stampPrime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to a request to write to USPresident Barack Obama on issuing of postage stamp on Diwali by the US Postal service, an individual behind the years long campaign has said. Read more here.4. Prohibition of Child Marriage Act applies to Muslims too: Gujarat High CourtGujarat High Court has ruled thatProhibition of Child Marriage Act will also apply to a Muslim person, adding that those who didn’t allow change in the Muslim Personal Law have done a great disservice to the community. Read more here. 5. Subramanian Swamy dubs JNU students, professors as ‘naxals’Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leaderSubramanian Swamy has made another controversial remark by calling the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students and professors “naxalites.” Read more here.

Make me a Union minister instead: Here’s why Subramanian Swamy will not be the next VC of JNU

The post of Jawaharlal Nehru University vice-chancellor is not one that Subramanian Swamy wishes to hold. He wants to remain in active politics and be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, if possible.

This is the fifth time he has declined a government post offered to him in the past year, but there is a difference this time round. The other posts were offered quietly, as is the norm with any top appointment, and Swamy quietly declined them. But this time since it involved JNU, a premier Left-oriented Central university, the “leak” of news that Swamy — a known proponent of Hindutva — was being considered as the next VC was bound to create a storm.

The offer, if it actually fructifies, couldn’t be more ironic. Swamy’s views on Jawaharlal Nehru are too well known. He does not consider Nehru a nationalist, and occasionally uses even stronger words to denounce Nehru and his legacy. One does not have to be an astrologer or a meteorologist to say that Swamy heading a university founded in Nehru’s name is a certain recipe for an onset of days full of hail and storm.

Subramanian Swamy. IBN Live.

Subramanian Swamy. IBN Live.

Swamy, it seems is enjoying the attention, and with a series of tweets, has kept the debate going: “Media is on fire that I have been offered the JNU VC post. No formal offer nor will there be if the Govt cannot meet my preconditions.” In another tweet he said, “PTs are overwhelmingly against my accepting JNU VC post. No question of my considering unless allowed to rusticate anti-national students.” In his latest tweet he said “I think JNU needs an Anti Narcotics Bureau campus branch office to raid dorms and arrest naxals, Jehadis and Elis. BSF camp also”.

Swamy said to Firstpost, “My mind is focused. I will be in politics. If they have to give me something then they could offer me a ministerial berth in the Union Cabinet.”

Swamy had earlier stated that in the days before the 2014 Parliamentary Election, he had been promised the finance minister’s job by someone at the top, but after the election, the same person told him that as a result of certain compulsions, he could no longer have the post. Then came an offer for the post of governor, which he refused because he didn’t want to go into ‘retirement mode’. This was followed by the offer of an ambassadorial post in the US or some Western country. A UN posting was also offered, after which the job of BRICS Bank chairman was also offered to him. He didn’t take that one either.

The post of JNU VC is the latest in the long list of offers, and he has once again said no. Sources close to him say that he suspects that some members of the BJP — a senior minister in particular — wants him to be pushed out of political horizon. Swamy on his part is in no mood to oblige them.

The leadership is not offering him what he actually wants for two reasons: First, who will tame his fiercely independent streak and tendency to speak his heart irrespective of the political consequences it might have? Second, Swamy is now 76, a year older than the RSS’ prescribed age for holding such posts. Yashwant Sinha had famously described 75-plus as “brain dead” in the party.

The JNU VC’s offer came to him through some well placed “well-wishers” and they cited various reasons why his services were required there, sources said. Those who made the offer to him said that they had suspected that he (Swamy) would say “no” to them, but they were still conveying the message.

Swamy in turn, told the “well wishers” that he wouldn’t accept the offer and if he did he would do it only if his conditions were met. Swamy was well aware that these were near-impossible conditions which could never be granted, so the offer was as good as dead. But the arguments made by Swamy apart from what he has tweeted, are interesting.

Sources said he told them if he takes over, he would expel hundreds of naxals and LTTE sympathisers from the campus, and take such other measures that would create an uproar in Parliament. To defend his actions, he would need to be in Parliament and thus would need to be made an MP. But if he becomes an MP, he can’t be a VC.

If he becomes a VC, a joint secretary from the HRD Ministry would often bother him with certain orders, and since he has been a Union minister it would be beneath his dignity to take orders from a joint secretary. So if at all, he had to become a VC, the government first needs to upgrade his position to Cabinet status.

And finally, if he has to be given the status of a Cabinet minister, why would he need to become a VC and not a minister in the Union government?

It’s safe to say the JNU VC offer is as good as dead.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to be next vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University?

It is learnt that HRD Minister Smriti Irani spoke to Swamy about the offer. However, there was no official communication from the Ministry.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

HRD Ministry is believed to have offered the post of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice chancellor to BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, but he has put some conditions before accepting the coveted post.It is learnt that HRD Minister Smriti Irani spoke to Swamy about the offer. However, there was no official communication from the Ministry.It also remained unclear what riders the BJP leader has placed before the Ministry for accepting the offer.Interestingly, the development comes even before the Union Ministry is to finalise the search-cum-selection committee for selecting the new VC. The current VC S K Sopory is set to retire in January next year.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the rules, a panel of names selected by the committee is sent to the President ( who is Visitor of the central varsities) by the HRD Ministry before the announcement of the new VC. The advertisements for inviting applications from the interested candidates for appointment of the new VC was given in August this year.

Delhi University and JNU can accept foreign funds without FCRA registration: Home Ministry

A Home Ministry official has clarified that no restriction has been imposed on such institutions in accepting donations from abroad even though they are no longer registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

Delhi University
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Delhi University, JNU, Gujarat National Law University are among a category of some 300-odd institutions in the country that are free to accept foreign donations without registration under FCRA.A Home Ministry official has clarified that no restriction has been imposed on such institutions in accepting donations from abroad even though they are no longer registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA). Registration of these institutions under FCRA was cancelled about two months back as they were deemed to not require registration under the amended FCRA.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the new rules, if an institution is created through an Act of Parliament or a state legislature or its accounts are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), it is not required to register under FCRA for accepting foreign contributions.”Around 300 such institutions across the country are eligible to accept foreign contributions even though they are no longer registered under FCRA,” the official said.Apart from DU, JNU and Gujarat National Law University, other institutions eligible to accept foreign contributions without FCRA registration include the IITs, Panjab University, School of Planning and Architecture.The FCRA registration of more than 16,000 organisations was cancelled by the Union Home Ministry over the last one year for violating various provisions of the law, including non-filing of annual returns. As many as 16 foreign donors, including US-based Ford Foundation and Greenpeace International, have been put on ‘prior permission’ category for defying FCRA rules.

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