‘In­ter­ac­tions be­tween In­dian, Chi­nese jour­nal­ists should con­tinue’

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

Sha­heed Bha­gat Singh Col­lege, one of the old­est and most pres­ti­gious col­leges of Delhi Univer­sity, has com­pleted 50 years of its ex­is­tence and has em­barked on a year-long golden ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tions.

Na­jeeb Jung, Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor of Delhi, in­au­gu­rated the cel­e­bra­tions ear­lier this month at the In­dia Habi­tat Cen­tre. It was fol­lowed by hon­our­ing teach­ers and fac­ulty mem­bers who joined the col­lege in 1967 (year of es­tab­lish­ment), and a cul­tural pro­gramme by the stu­dents.

The col­lege au­thor­i­ties have plans to or­gan­ise sev­eral func­tions through­out the year. “Ek Sham Bha­gat Singh Ke Naam”, a prom­i­nent pro­gramme, has been planned for De­cem­ber this year, where teach­ers and stu­dents of the col­lege would re­call the his­tory of Bha­gat Singh with mu­sic, dance, drama and lec­tures, while the Golden Ju­bilee Mela would be held in Fe­bru­ary next year.

“The golden ju­bilee of the col­lege is a defin­ing mo­ment in its long jour­ney on the path of growth and ser­vice to so­ci­ety. It is a mo­ment of hap­pi­ness for all of us at the Sha­heed Bha­gat Singh Col­lege to be a part of the cel­e­bra­tions and we look for­ward to de­vel­op­ing our col­lege as a pre­mier ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tion with a strong brand im­age, of­fer­ing world-class fa­cil­i­ties for the de­vel­op­ment of ex­cel­lence in aca­demics, sports, cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties and other stu­dent em­pow­er­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.” Prof P.K. Khu­rana, prin­ci­pal of the col­lege, said.

The col­lege, es­tab­lished on 16 July 1967, will in­au­gu­rate the Sha­heed Bha­gat Singh Re­search and Study Cen­tre for the pro­mo­tion of re­search and study among stu­dents, along with another Cen­tre for En­tre­pre­neur­ial De­vel­op­ment in the col­lege premises. The col­lege has also built a new herbal gar­den

Dr Anil Sar­dana, who has been as­so­ci­ated with the col­lege for the past 43 years, has also been an alum­nus. Dr Sar­dana, who is also the or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary of the golden ju­bilee pro­gramme, said, “This is a mo­ment to cel­e­brate, to look back and also plan for the fu­ture. It is also a plat­form for the alumni to con­nect and con­trib­ute in ways to de­velop the col­lege. Our alumni have reached great heights in their pro­fes­sions.”

The col­lege, which started with just 134 stu­dents in a small gov­ern­ment school build­ing in Govin­d­puri, cur­rently has around 3,000 stu­dents from across the coun­try and is one of the most sought af­ter col­leges for com­merce stud­ies. As the num­ber of stu­dents grew, the col­lege was moved to its present build­ing at Sheikh Sarai in 1990. The col­lege had started its evening sec­tion in 1973 and to­day it has be­come a full-fledged evening col­lege, even of­fer­ing var­i­ous hon­ours cour­ses.

Pro­fes­sor Syd­ney Re­beiro, one of the first teach­ers of the col­lege and the present Dean of Alumni Af­fairs, DU, said: “The col­lege has a long his­tory and we started from a small build­ing with a hand­ful of stu­dents, but to­day we have be­come one of the best col­leges in Delhi Univer­sity. We had faced sev­eral prob­lems, but had al­ways stood up strong.”

The Delhi Univer­sity ( DU) has re­ceived stu­dents’ ap­pli­ca­tions from 106 coun­tries this year, the high­est so far. With the ad­mis­sion process still un­der­way, more for­eign stu­dents are still en­rolling, with the to­tal num­ber of for­eign na­tion­als who ap­plied to DU this year reach­ing over 3,368, which is 1,200 more than last year’s fig­ures. So far, the univer­sity has fin­ished the ad­mis­sion process for 410 for­eign stu­dents and is still count­ing.

Over 20 African stu­dents have got en­rolled in DU so far. Most of them be­long to Af­ter In­dia’s ex­pul­sion of three Chi­nese jour­nal­ists fol­low­ing ad­verse in­tel­li­gence re­ports about them, opin­ion is di­vided over whether the in­ci­dent would af­fect the ex­ist­ing mech­a­nism of bi­lat­eral in­ter­ac­tions be­tween jour­nal­ists of the two coun­tries. But there is agree­ment that such in­ter­ac­tions should not be dis­con­tin­ued.

At present, the “In­di­aChina Me­dia Fo­rum” is the only ex­ist­ing plat­form jointly es­tab­lished by China’s State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice and In­dia’s Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs (MEA) to “en­hance bi­lat­eral me­dia ex­changes”. The first edi­tion of the Fo­rum was held in New Delhi in 2013, while the sec­ond was held in Bei­jing in 2015. At the sec­ond In­dia-China Me­dia Fo­rum held in Bei­jing on 1 Fe­bru­ary 2015, Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj had said, among other things: “The Me­dia Fo­rum was en­vis­aged as a plat­form to en­cour­age ap­pre­ci­a­tion and build un­der­stand­ing of each other’s so­ci­eties in our re­spec­tive me­dia.”

On whether In­dia should dis­con­tinue the Fo­rum ini­tia­tive and any other such ven­ture, Ra­jeev Sharma, a Delhi-based strate­gic af­fairs ex­pert who has at­tended both the edi­tions of the Fo­rum, told The Sun­day Guardian, “Not at all. By do­ing so, In­dia would ap­pear to be the ag­gres­sor, whereas in this case, it’s the Chi­nese who have been the ag­gres­sors. What the Chi­nese jour­nal­ists have done is es­pi­onage by other means. It’s com­mon knowl­edge that China uses all its ex­pa­tri­ates in for­eign coun­tries as an ex­ten­sion of their in­tel­li­gence ap­pa­ra­tus. Why should In­dia look like some­one who is throt­tling a healthy en­gage­ment be­tween the two coun­tries’ me­dia out­fits, though Bei- jing may be at­tempt­ing to do as much covertly? In­dia’s motto should be: trust, but ver­ify. In­dia should con­tinue to have an open-door pol­icy for Chi­nese jour­nal­ists, while be­ing dou­bly cau­tious of them.”

About state-run Chi­nese daily Global Times’ warn­ing of “se­ri­ous con­se­quences”, Sharma said, “It im­plies that In­dian jour­nal­ists based in China—and there are at least eight of them— would face the heat. Ex­pect greater sur­veil­lance on them and de­lib­er­ate provo­ca­tions from the Chi­nese side with re­spect to them, even if they are do­ing noth­ing il­le­gal.”

Man­ish Chand, ed­i­tor-inchief of In­dia Writes, who also par­tic­i­pated in both the edi­tions of the Fo­rum, told The Sun­day Guardian, “The In­dian gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion not to ex­tend visas for three Chi­nese jour­nal­ists of Xin­hua (which has been por­trayed as their ex­pul­sion from In­dia) is con­textspe­cific.

There is no of­fi­cial state­ment on why these Chi­nese jour­nal­ists have been asked to leave, but re­ports sug­gest that it was due to their al­leged un-jour­nal­is­tic ac­tiv­i­ties (a eu­phemism for spy­ing). We don’t know what the facts in this case are. How­ever, the In­dian gov­ern­ment has also made it clear that Xin­hua is wel­come to send other jour­nal­ists. So, it would ap­pear this does not amount to un­friendly/hos­tile at­ti­tude to­wards Chi­nese jour­nal­ists be­ing posted in In­dia.”

Sharma said, “It (the Fo­rum) is a unique ini­tia­tive at the level of me­dia be­tween In­dia and China, and In­dia does not have this kind of en­gage­ment with very many coun­tries.

It will have an im­pact on the third edi­tion of In­di­aChina Me­dia Fo­rum as and when it is held. No dates have been fi­nalised yet. I will at­tend the third edi­tion, if in­vited.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.