The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) proposed to offer engineering and management courses. If approved, the university will take students for these subjects from 2018.
The New Delhi-based premier institution, established in 1969, is known for its arts and humanities subjects. JNU wants to expand its programme to engineering and management, for which officials submitted a proposal and made a presentation to the country’s university regulator, UGC.
The government-run university can’t start new courses without the UGC’s clearance as these involve fresh or enhanced funding to hire faculty, build infrastructure, and other miscellaneous and recurring expenses.
According to an article by The Telegraph India, The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved the JNU proposal to start engineering and management courses, drawing criticism from several faculty members who feared such “industry and job-oriented” programmes would dilute the varsity’s mandate to promote critical thinking. The UGC has agreed to fund both schools of engineering and management. The details are yet to be worked out.
The council members confirmed that a proposal to set up a school of engineering was approved on Friday along with the change of the special centre for Sanskrit studies into a School for Sanskrit and Indic Studies. The changes now need to be approved by the executive council before implementation.
The chair announced that he has been promised Rs 180 crore by the UGC for the Engineering School and full support in terms of faculty positions. A decision to run the entrance exam, rather than through the IIT-JEE system was also announced. Along with engineering, the programme in management was also deemed to be passed, even though not one comment regarding this was placed as part of the agenda for discussion,” a statement from JNUTA said.
The vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar had said earlier this year, in an interview with HT, that the university was planning to start these two courses.“We will start a school of management and entrepreneurship to focus on informal innovation. We will also start an engineering school which will offer integrated five-year degree,” he had said.
JNU won the annual Visitor’s Award for best university in 2017, which was instituted by the government three years ago to encourage healthy competition among central universities.
More than 7,000 students study in the university’s graduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes.
JNU has schools of social sciences, international relations, arts and aesthetics, environment science among others.
Academics apart, the university has been in the limelight since last February when three of its students were charged with sedition and arrested after a campus event.