JNU’s read­ing list

WHAT THEY LIKE Books on Zen Bud­dhism, In­dian cricket, stud­ies on sub­cul­tures... young schol­ars have been de­vour­ing just about any­thing

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - HT Education Correspondent Rozelle Laha

HT Education, with the As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dian School Coun­sel­lors & Al­lied Pro­fes­sion­als, started a helpline on exam stress. A num­ber of queries were re­ceived by the coun­sel­lors on is­sues such as time man­age­ment, sleep dis­or­ders and healthy eat­ing habits. Here are some of them. Have a dead­line be­fore you start study­ing. Be very clear about what you will study and how much time you will take. Tell your­self: “I have to study and clear my ex­ams, th­ese are the chap­ters I will fin­ish to­day no mat­ter what.” Sit with a par- Par­ents should check their chil­dren’s daily time ta­ble and find out more about their per­sonal pref­er­ences. What suits them – study­ing dur­ing the day or night? They should en­sure that the child has at least six to seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour cy­cle. So, it might be okay for a child to sleep dur­ing the day and start study­ing in the af­ter­noon. Un­like other com­merce sub­jects, busi­ness stud­ies seems dif­fi­cult be­cause of the the­ory. Try break­ing the in­for­ma­tion into parts, use mnemon­ics and flow charts to learn points and their sub-points. Take a 10-minute break af­ter study­ing for 30 min­utes and try re­call­ing the in­for­ma­tion. “It is im­por­tant that stu­dents bring a cer­tain raga­muf­fin, bare­foot ir­rev­er­ence to their stud­ies; they are not here to wor­ship what is known, but to ques­tion it.”

– Ja­cob Bronowski Bronowski, Bri­tish math­e­ma­ti­cian, his­to­rian of sci­ence, poet and in­ven­tor, could not have put it more suc­cinctly. An in­sti­tute is known for its stu­dents. To de­velop their minds and en­sure they turn out to be all-rounders, it is nec­es­sary that they value books more than any­thing else.

On a warm sunny day, when t his correspondent vis­ited Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity (JNU), of late at the cen­tre of a storm over con­tro­ver­sies re­lated to free­dom of speech, among other things, she found what she had been look­ing for...A healthy in­ter­est in read­ing.

From Zen Bud­dhism to In­dian cricket, from stud­ies on sub­cul­tures to re­search­ing eco­log­i­cal sound­scapes (sounds made by an­i­mals, nat­u­ral sounds like wind and rain and hu­man-gen­er­ated sound), the young schol­ars have been de­vour­ing just about any­thing they can lay their hands on. What, how­ever, was ob­vi­ous on cam­pus was the stu­dents’ re­luc­tance to speak about any­thing... even their love for read­ing. In fact, it took quite some time for this correspondent to per­suade them to share their thoughts.

De­spite all re­as­sur­ances how­ever, one of the stu­dents marked a mail to oth­ers with a copy to this writer, which read, “She (writer) has promised that if the story has a neg­a­tive spin, she will not be us­ing any of our names or af­fil­i­a­tions in the story and will just use the info.” Yet an­other stu­dent wrote back: “I kindly re­quest you to share my re­sponse as anony­mous and not by name ir­re­spec­tive of how your story turns out.”

It’s a di­verse mix – and in­dica­tive of bright minds still form­ing. In th­ese times, it’s crit­i­cal that thoughts and free­doms not be sup­pressed, as to quote Bronowski once again: Has there ever been a so­ci­ety which has died of dis­sent? Sev­eral have died of con­form­ity in our life­time.

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