“Our next Vice Chancellor should be someone who is not afraid of his own students,” notes Jawaharlal Nehru University student Apeeksha, as the tenure of the present VC Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, often accused of not giving protesting students an audience, comes to an end in January 2021.
Elaborating on the qualities that make for an ideal Vice Chancellor (VC) and referring to JNU Student Najeeb Ahmed, who went missing in October 2016, Apeeksha said, “Our VC should be such that, if any student disappears, they should at least speak to the student’s worried mother.”
VC Should Protect Students, Promote Scientific Temper
Referring to the attack on students by a masked mob on 5 January 2020, JNU student Sucheta said that the Vice Chancellor should guard against the entry of miscreants on campus and ensure they are brought to justice, should they manage to sneak in.
“Our VC should be such that when masked mobs enter campus and assault students and teachers, they should nab those masked groups and not let them enter the campus in the first place.”Sucheta, JNU Student
While Parminder, a JNU student as well, stressed that the university should invite scientists and writers instead of religious groups, his peer Sushmita opined that “in their professional capacity, a Vice Chancellor should not be the follower of a certain ideology because they are liable to students and the university.”
In November 2017, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was invited to deliver the Nehru Memorial lecture on campus, followed by ‘Sadhguru’ Jaggi Vasudev, who was invited for the same in 2018. In May 2020, the varsity also held a webinar titled ‘Leadership Lessons From Ramayana.’