Academic council of Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday gave its approval for setting up a School of Engineering and Management along with conversion of the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies completely to School of Sanskrit and Indic Studies. The move now required a final approval from the Executive Council (EC).
Some of the members of the AC said that they were dissented but it was not recorded and that the VC of the university did not allow the matter to be discussed.
An AC member alleged, “The V-C said the university had received funds from the University Grants Commission and the School of Engineering and Management was going to be set up. When we tried to intervene, he said only those who understood the subject could ask questions. When I asked him what would be the structural difference between the engineering and management courses that are taught in IITs and the ones here, he told me to go find out for myself.”
“We tried to reason with him on the Sanskrit school as well, but he did not listen. His said the SCSS was doing amazing work. When an AC member tried to speak about starting a new course in Mathematics, she wasn’t allowed to, despite having support from others,” the member alleged.
Another AC member said "It will be a dual degree programme envisioned by the V-C, where an engineering student does a BTech degree and an MS in a non-engineering program, like humanities or literature. We want to build socially responsible engineers and JNU wants to be a leader in that," he said.
A professor from SCSS, Girish Nath Jha, said that earlier they also pushed for the conversion but this time they were better prepared to present their case.
“We have been given this chance to set up a world-class School. Being a School, we’ll be able to branch out more since Sanskrit has 18 specializations. We will work on Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit as well as study Ayurveda to understand its benefits. When we were a Special Centre, we couldn’t have other departments but now we will be able to expand. However, we’ll start with just one Centre," he said.