Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)

Young at thirty years, as universities go, what has lent strength and energy to Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is the vision that ideas are a field for adventure, experimentation and unceasing quest and diversity of opinions its chief premise. The excellent teacher-student ratio at 1:10, a mode of instruction which encourages students to explore their own creativity instead of reproducing received knowledge, and an exclusively internal evaluation were a new experiment on the Indian academic landscape that have stood the test of time.

JNUJNU consists of 9 school and 4 centers, many of which have been declared by the Indian University Grants Commission to be Centers of 'Excellence,’ among them the Center for Historical Studies, Center for the Study of Social Systems, Center for Political Studies, Center for Economic Studies and Planning, and the Center for the Study of Regional Development.

The JNU campus is a microcosm of the Indian nation, drawing students from every nook and corner of the country and from every group and stratum of society. Overseas students form some 10 percent of the annual intake. Students' hostels and blocks of faculty residences are interspersed with one another, underlining the vision of a large Indian family.

JNUAt JNU personal interaction between students and teachers and among students themselves form an extremely important and lively medium of generation and transmission of knowledge. Sometimes high decibel disputes about the validity of theoretical premises or cultural substructures of a particular scientific or economic thesis do spill over from the class and hostel rooms onto the middle of the campus roads, at times causing traffic bottlenecks. Happily, these have never caused a road accident! The annual Students Union elections are conducted entirely by students. Fierce poster and cartoon wars, verbal duels and competitive yet peaceful group meetings are a viewers' delight.

The library, located at the heart of the academic complex, has a collection of about 500,000 materials, which includes, books, periodicals, serials and non-book material. Established in 1969, it incorporates the library of the prestigious Indian School of International Studies, which was merged with JNU.  It subscribes to around 800 journals and is a depository of all government publications and publications of some international agencies such as the WHO, UNESCO etc.  The library has received on gratis valuable lifetime collections of eminent scholars of India, and has an exchange relation with many Indian and international agencies and national libraries throughout the world.

Jawaharlal Nehru University website can be viewed at www.jnu.ac.in. For more information, contact S. Chandrasekaran, e-mail coordinator@mail.jnu.ac.in.

 

"This past year was a great and wonderful experience for me. I have learned so much about the culture, the academic and political systems, the history and the people of the U.S. It was particularly interesting having been here at a politically-charged time and learning about changes in U.S. foreign policy first hand and not from books and articles."

Stormy Mildner
from the Freie University of Berlin to Yale