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'We Request JNU Not to Relocate CHS Library To Develop New Centre'

'Despite getting funds from the TN Govt, JNU is taking away our library to develop a new centre for Tamil Studies.'

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My Report
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Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

On 2 August, we learnt that our Centre For Historical Studies (CHS) library at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been turned into the Special Centre For Tamil Studies. 

When we inquired about the new location for our library, we discovered it's being shifted to the Exim Bank library, a library that the students of Economics are using.

Exim Bank is a small library with around 40-50 seating capacity. When we visited the Exim Bank library, we discovered that their books were being tied up. 

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"We were informed that these books would be shifted to the central library, and books from the CHS library would be moved to the Exim Bank Library."
Madhurima Kundu, Student, Phd CSRD

The CHS library houses more than 18,000 books, journals, PhD theses and books as old as 150 years have been preserved in the library. The JNU Administration is trying to merge the CHS Library and Exim Bank Library when there is already a severe space crunch in all libraries of the university.

'Despite getting funds from the TN Govt, JNU is taking away our library to develop a new centre for Tamil Studies.'

Books at the CHS library in JNU are being tied up and are being transferred to another library.

(Image accessed by The Quint)

"We don't know how these books would be handled. Some of these books are very rare, and we fear that some might even be discarded entirely, which is detrimental to our research interests." 
Anuj Sah, Student, Ph.D. Medieval History
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In December 2022, the Tamil Nadu State Government provided Rs 5 crore for setting up a separate Tamil literature department at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Despite receiving funds from the state government, the JNU administration is taking away our space. We insist that the university utilise the resources (financial) for developing a new centre rather than sequestering the spaces we already have. 

"This is an attempt to snatch our library from us. We want to make this very clear that we are not against the development of any centre (for studies)." 
Ashish Kumar, Student, MA Modern History

We had two reading rooms at our Centre. One has already been taken away, and now this library is being taken away without consulting the students, who are its prime stakeholders. The one reading room that we have is overcrowded, and it has a minimal capacity.  

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Due to this reason, we are here, and we will sit here till the time the authorities don't come and talk and inform us about the reason for doing what they are doing. We want our library back!

JNU'S Response

Taking to Twitter, the university said, "All the concerned members/students of the university are hereby informed that as part of an internal arrangement, the university has planned to relocate the existing CHS Library to the adjoining building. Relocation has been always taking place in JNU. Moreover, this has been passed by the EC unanimously."

Further, it added, "The proposed arrangement would not only facilitate the activities of one of the important Indian Languages but also ensure prudent use of space on the campus without affecting the academic activities of CHS or any other Centre. The concerned faculty and students are requested to cooperate in this regard."

(The Quint has reached out to the Jawaharlal University Administration on the issue raised by the students of Centre for Historical Studies. Their response is awaited. The Story would be updated once a response is received.)

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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