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JNU Ranked Second-Best Univ: A ‘Befitting Reply’, Says Student

The NIRF ranking stands testimony to the fact that debate and free thought is not an antithesis of education.

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While a number of politicians and publications in the country are not too happy with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), the National Institute of Ranking Framework (NIRF) clearly feels differently. The NIRF, after judging on five distinct parameters, has declared JNU the second-best university in the country.

And unlike what many would want to believe, those five parameters do not include “naaraabaazi" and "anti-national activities". On the other hand, they are:

  • Teaching, learning and resources
  • Research and professional practice
  • Graduation outcome
  • Outreach and inclusivity
  • Perception

The NIRF, after annual scrutiny and research, ranks only those universities which meet these parameters. JNU not only makes the cut, but does so with flying colours.

Even in the last two years, the university was ranked highly. It ranked second in 2017 and third in 2016.

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However, why is this important for us to know?

A twisted image of JNU is often hurled during public discourse that attempts to shame anyone who questions. Incorrect tags such as "anti-national" and "rebellious" are often associated with the university. The seminars, the discussions, the teaching methods and the environment, which is conducive for research, are easily overlooked. A number of students also often find themselves on the receiving end of undeserved commentary and jibes.

Since 2016, government intervention in JNU has increased with leaders associating ill intent with the university and a continuous onslaught on the liberal environment of the university. However, while the state feels a need for this kind of involvement in the university space, the university has flourished wonderfully on its own.

The students had never stopped studying and learning and growing, unlike what many would want to believe, under their original faculty. The NIRF ranking stands testimony to the same, and to the fact that debate and free thought is not an antithesis of education.

Jonmani Das, an MPhil student of School of Arts and Aesthetics at JNU says that this ranking is "an indication of JNU's academic relevance" and a "befitting reply".

In a country where regional, economic and social inequalities stem from prejudiced beliefs and discourses of suppression, research in humanities and social sciences can provide the vocabulary to confront such inhibiting factors. This ranking is an indication of JNU’s academic relevance and probably a befitting reply to those who think students in JNU are nothing but parasites living off taxpayers’ money.
Jonmani Das

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