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