New Delhi:Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar Wednesday said students needed to engage “more closely with society” because of the challenges faced by the country, among them the threat of “illegal immigrants” and “national security”.He was speaking at the second convocation of the university, held after 46 years. Chancellor and NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat was the chief guest at the event, which saw PhD degrees being awarded to around 400 PhD students.Other side A JNU student refused to shake with Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar at the convocation ceremony, in protest against, what he termed as, his “role in negating the idea of the varsity being an inclusive campus”.Anoop Patel, who did a comparative study on India’s Reservation Policy and South Africa’s Affirmative Action for his doctorate, attended the convocation ceremony but when Mr Kumar acknowledged him and wanted to shake hands, he did not reciprocate.
The way the image of JNU has gone down, the VC has a huge role to play in it. The decisions, policies which are enacted by the Vice-Chancellor are against the inclusive, democratic, progressive and secular credentials of our JNU,” he later claimed.Mr Patel also claimed that when he refused to shake hands with the VC, JNU Chancellor VK Saraswat, who was the chief guest at the convocation, said “I hope you will shake hands with me.”I told Saraswat sir, ‘I will definitely shake hands with you,” he said.Its important to know that the second convocation of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)-held after a gap of four decades-was a flop for the second time. The first convocation, which took place in 1972, was also a flop as it had triggered a controversy over a speech by the then student union president, VC Koshy.
Wednesday’s event was organised at the AICTE auditorium as JNU cited lack of space on the premises. Due to change in the venue, the JNU administration had issued an order that students should come with only one of their parents.Apart from the one-parent policy, the JNU administration had also barred the media from covering the second convocation.For students, convocation is once in a lifetime event and varsity’s diktat just killed their joy, said those present in the auditorium.
However, when the official photographs of the second convocation were released, it was evident that seats were empty at the AICTE auditorium.More than 400 students were conferred with degrees in Doctorate in Philosophy. Dr VK Saraswat, JNU Chancellor and member of the Niti Aayog was the chief guest.