November 16, 2019

#JNUFact: Is the fee hike in JNU justified?

Total Number Of Students, Departments and courses offered in JNU

Let's first start with the number of students in JNU and number of departments , along with the courses offered. Here is how it looks:

Total number of students in JNU=8000.

Between the two categories, we have 72% of the campus covered:

  • 4578 students (57%) are from social sciences, language, literature & arts.
  • 1210 students (15%) are from International studies.
That means, almost 55% of the total student strength i.e. 4359 students are doing M.Phil. or Ph.D.

Well, if I am not wrong, in any college the strength of students declines as we move from undergraduate courses to post graduate, also there are a few students, who prefer to pursue doctorate level courses.
This is also driven by financial compulsions as people need to get back into the earning workforce fast and get on to a career track. I started working when I was 23.
I wonder, why M.Phil and doctoral level students strength is so high in JNU.

How much Indian government spends on JNU?

Let's look at the profit-loss statics of JNU for the year 2018 from the 600 page annual report.
So the Indian government spends ₹556 crores per year on on JNU, this does not include fixed assets JNU has e.g huge land base, building JNU owns, which was built on government money at some point.

How much Indian government spent on per student at JNU? Well, it will come roughly around ₹6.95 lacs per student annually. Although the university calculations somewhere quote this number as ₹2.33 lacs per student (₹170 crores/7304), somehow I feel this calculation is seriously flawed.

The real numbers have to divide the entire university expenses by the number of students, isn't it? There can be no university without students so all expenses eventually have to come from the student body and other income.

Even if we exclude the other income and count only the government subsidy and grants, we have a total expense of ₹352 crores over 8000 students. I feel we can safely assume that each student consumes ₹4.4 lacs of government subsidy at JNU every year. WOW! this is how public money is misused at scale. Can someone tell me genuinely, what talent are we producing at this high cost subsidy?

Research, publications & patents at JNU

You might say JNU is an academic focused institution, and it should not be compared with commercial institutions. Agree! Now let's dig more..

What kind of research papers JNU publishes? How many patents it own? You would be surprised that an institution which claims to be the center of academics on social sciences, the claims on the website seem pretty sketchy. Read for yourself as I quote from the website:
  • Publications: The faculty of the University has been regularly publishing many research journal articles, books; contributed chapters in books; presented papers in national and international conferences/workshops and delivered several lectures outside the University.
  • Research: JNU has been promoting research by students and faculty. Faculty members have been able to attract competitive research grants from many national and international funding agencies. Currently, more than 300 research projects are running in the University. Research grants are also received from DST, DBT, ICMR, CSIR, UGC, ICSSR, ICHR, ICCR, Ministries, European Union, European Commission, Ford Foundation, Welcome Trust etc. In addition to research projects, faculty members are also encouraged to undertake consultancy projects. University has also set up an Advanced Instrumentation Research facility where state of the art equipment have been installed to meet the requirements of many science schools/special centers. University has also set up an Intellectual Property Management (IPM) Cell to facilitate filing of patents and technology transfers.
Why there is no specific mention of any numbers or concrete claims on research and publications? Why the names of journals or publications are not mentioned? Aren't there worth mentioning? Perhaps JNU doesn’t need to publish this important information or may be the intelligent students of JNU doesn't want to leak the sacred information publicly.

But there should be some patents at-least? If you research, you will find below patents by faculties:
  • R. Bhatnagar (2001-2002). A Process for the Preparation of Non-Toxic Anthrax Vaccine. Indian patent (1222/Del/2001) accepted. International PCT application (PCT/IN2002/00048; WO-03-048390A1, June 12, 2003) published. R. Bhatnagar (2001). A process for constitutively preparing anthrax protective antigen. Indian patent (1127/Del/2001) accepted. R. Bhatnagar (2001). An Anthrax Protective Antigen. Indian patent (1074/Del/2002) accepted.
  • Aparna Dixit (2007). Anti-diabetic recombinant protein. Indian patent and International PCT applications filed. Aparna Dixit (2007). Recombinant vaccine against Aeromonas hydrophila. Indian Patent application filed.
  • R. Bhatnagar (2008). An immunodominant B cell epitope based protein vaccine against Anthrax. Indian Patent application (2947/DEL/2008) filed. R. Bhatnagar (2008). A pharmaceutical composition of vaccine against Rabies…..its preparation thereof. Indian Patent (1449/DEL/2008) and International PCT (PCT/IN2008/000578) applications filed.
  • K. J. Mukherjee (2006). A process for getting high yields of xylanases (patent application filed). K.J. Mukherjee (1999). A process for getting high yields of streptokinase. K.J. Mukherjee (2002). Process technology for production of human alpha interferon in E.coli Application No. 212080 (1276/Del/2002) Indian Patent Accepted.
  • Santosh K. Kar, (2006). Method for Identification and/or Diagnosis of REM Sleep Loss from Blood Samples. Indian Patent. Date of Issue: 24 Oct 2006.

Wow FOUR patents, that too by faculties. What about the numbers of patents by JNU students? Huh!

Do you want to know the best claims about the research JNU publishes? Well you can find that in the placement brochure. PLACEMENT? ARE YOU SERIOUS? hahaha Yes, they have one! Although very superficial one and doesn’t disclose any statistics about past placements.

Here is what you’ll see in the name of research at JNU:

With 4360 students in M.Phil and Ph.D. courses, there are hardly 1000 research articles published in Journals. Amazing ya!

You might say, some of M.Phil students might have contributed towards the research work by their professors and thus earn their education. Well, has any one of them asked the professors what research they do because there are a handful of papers published?

Interestingly, the JNU university doesn’t name any notable journals while making such claims. This implies that there is just ONE article published for every 4.5 students each year. OMG!

This when there are more than 600 Ph.D's granted annually. Would you consider this any worthwhile research work?

Is the fee hike in JNU justified?

In view of the data above, it doesn’t appear that there is much focus on output or getting laurels for the nation at JNU. So there is absolutely no data point to believe that is the case.

Let’s look at the fee the students pay to study at the university:

First of all, the numbers you are looking at are not in thousands or lac, sweetheart they are in INR.

So, the entire tuition fee paid by a JNU student is ₹240. Aside, they pay a generous ₹6 for library and ₹40 as refundable security deposit. Huh! I can't even a samosa cost ₹10.

How was a university allowed to run with this fee structure that too without any hike for decades is itself a research paper in the making. Of course, nobody at JNU would have time to research on this. YAWNS!

For your information, IIT Delhi which is located close by charges about more than ₹2.25 lac annually and IIMs charge about ₹5-10 lac per year. Surprisingly, we don’t see any strikes at those places. Students know they need to jump into the job market, start their earning life and also repay the student loan that they carry.

JNU is free of any such thoughts or troubles. Probably the reason why JNU students have much time left to create new troubles of their own.

Isn't JNU is a perfect example of bad socialism. If you give something for free, people have no incentive to work and earn. In this situation, why would anyone at JNU be in a hurry to find jobs or even publish research?

In a nation where we’re are hardly able to educate our children through primary schools, our JNU stands tall as an example of socialist elitism at its best. THIS MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY.

The JNU students may have all the time for doctoral courses, but our nation is certainly running out of patience and money to pay for these 'scholars'.

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