Published: 08th February 2022
We hope the new VC has retained at least 10% of JNU's culture: JNUTA
The JNUTA, which has been demanding a replacement for M Jagadesh Kumar, says they will have to wait and watch how the new VC functions, despite her support for the current govt
Ideology is a weighted word these days. One that can make or break your career. With the express opportunity to voice one's thoughts at all times, thanks to Twitter, one's ideology is no longer a mystery.
Jawaharlal Nehru University's newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor, Prof Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit has just had the world Google and Twitter-search her profiles, and what those search results throw up seems to surprise none. She is the first woman to be appointed as the VC of the varsity. In some way, Pandit is back at her alma mater as she did her PhD in International Relations from JNU in 1990.
"We have heard her name doing the rounds for the VC's post for a year now. So this was expected," says Prof Milap Chand Sharma, President of the JNU Teachers Association.
The JNUTA has been demanding the appointment of a new VC for about a year now. "Promotions and fundings were delayed, so hopefully now things will be streamlined," says Prof Milap.
Tweets from her account, which has now been deleted, started doing the rounds on social media. These include one where she refers to protesting farmers as parasites and Left-leaning activists of JNU as "Naxal Jihadists".
Other sources in the academic circles in Delhi tell Edexlive that an unabashed supporter of the current government has been appointed as the VC of JNU, and as the Chairman of the UGC (M Jagadesh Kumar) as a furthering of the administration's political agenda.
"There's no real merit there," says Dr Abha Dev Habib of Delhi University, adding, "First woman Vice-Chancellor can be a very positive thing, but we have to see who comes in as a woman, or as an OBC individual, and whether they are being appointed with a political agenda, or whether they will work democratically and uphold the gravitas of the office, or if they will just function to implement whatever policies the government pushes. From her Twitter, it looks like a convenient person for the government."
"Her first circular was her saying thanks the Prime Minister. That part is there, but we do not really know what is going to come. A meeting has been scheduled on February 8 between the Vice-Chancellor and the members of the Executive Council, and only after the that we will know what she has in mind," shares Prof Milap.
The circular also centres her goals around the implementation of the National Education Policy, and creating an "Indo-centric narrative."
"We at least hope we will have somebody we can approach to discuss and argue with, because she is from JNU, and I hope at least 10% of the culture has been retained by her. We have our fingers crossed, but we have very little hope for the next couple of years for the state of education in the country," he says.