JNU plans 25% more seats from this aca­demic year

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - Aman­deep Shukla aman­[email protected]

Ac­cord­ing to a pro­posal, the uni­ver­sity aims to in­crease its in­take ca­pac­ity by 1,450, from 5,803 stu­dents in 2018-19 to 7,253 in the next ses­sion. GOV­ERN­MENT OF­FI­CIAL

NEWDELHI: The Jawa­har­lal Nehru Uni­ver­sity (JNU) is among the few cen­tral uni­ver­si­ties in the coun­try which plan to in­crease the num­ber of seats by 25% from the com­ing aca­demic year.

A ma­jor­ity of oth­ers lead­ing varsities in the coun­try, how­ever, such as the Delhi Uni­ver­sity, Ba­naras Hindu Univeric­ity and Tezpur Uni­ver­sity, have pre­ferred a more stag­gered ap­proach.

The gov­ern­ment’s move to pro­vide 10% quota for the eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tions (EWS) has ne­ces­si­tated that varsities in­crease their seats by 25% so that the share of the seats for SC, ST, OBC or gen­eral cat­e­gories is not af­fected.

The hu­man re­source devel­op­ment min­istry had asked varsities as well as other ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions to draw up a plan so that the num­ber of seats can be in­creased by 25% in the next two years.

“The JNU has agreed to in­crease seats by 25% in the aca­demic year 2019-20. Ac­cord­ing to a pro­posal, the uni­ver­sity aims to in­crease its in­take ca­pac­ity by 1,450, from 5,803 stu­dents in 2018-19 to 7,253 in the next ses­sion,” a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said.

How­ever, a ma­jor­ity of the 40 Cen­tral uni­ver­si­ties have planned to in­crease seats by 10-15% in the 2019-20 ses­sion, and the rest in 2020-21.

It is broadly es­ti­mated that the num­ber of seats in the coun­try’s Cen­tral uni­ver­si­ties will in­crease by 47,000 in the next two years. Of these, around 20,000 seats will come up in the up­com­ing aca­demic ses­sion it­self.

“From what I can re­mem­ber, we had planned to in­crease our seats by 12.5% this year, and the rest in the next aca­demic year. We have also sought funds for the in­crease as more seats also re­quires the cre­ation of sev­eral fa­cil­i­ties such as labs and hir­ing of fac­ulty,” Prof Rakesh Bhat­na­gar, vice chan­cel­lor of the Ba­naras Hindu Uni­ver­sity (BHU), said.

As­sam’s Tezpur Uni­ver­sity is also go­ing for a phased in­crease of seats. “It is ex­pected that there will be a 10-12% in­crease in the up­com­ing year,” a var­sity of­fi­cial said.

Prof Saket Kush­waha of Arun­chal Pradesh’s Rajiv Gandhi Uni­ver­sity said the uni­ver­sity was plan­ning to in­crease the num­ber of seats by around 10% in 2019-20 and around 15% in 2020-21.

Delhi Uni­ver­sity is also plan­ning a phased ap­proach, ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial.

“Most of the older uni­ver­si­ties have gone for a phased ap­proach. JNU is per­haps the only no­table ex­cep­tion. How­ever, a few newer uni­ver­si­ties have also shared plans to ef­fect the en­tire 25% in­crease in the up­com­ing aca­demic year it­self,” the gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial cited above said.

Of the cen­tral uni­ver­si­ties, Jamia Mil­lia Is­lamia and Ali­garh Mus­lim Uni­ver­sity (AMU) will not be im­ple­ment­ing the EWS quota.

How­ever, with most of the coun­try’s uni­ver­si­ties choos­ing to go for a phased in­crease, a chal­lenge that has pre­sented it­self is how to en­sure that the share of none of the other sec­tions is af­fected.

Ac­cord­ing to the HRD min­istry’s cal­cu­la­tions, to bring in 10% seats for the EWS sec­tions, there should be a 25% in­crease in seats.

“This is a teething trou­ble. How­ever, it will be en­sured that nei­ther the num­ber nor the share of any of the sec­tions such as SCs, STs or OBCs is af­fected in any way,” an­other gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said.

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