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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Why are Jamia students protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act?

So why are the students of Jamia protesting? Valid question. I will not attempt a political commentary that mainstream media is already immersed into. A more critical question is to explore this – why do students get so much time and energy to protest on matters that do not impact them in any way?

My last article on JNU tried to connect dots on the overall lack of accountability of students to their own careers, a general mis-direction of energy, absence of realism on current economic issues and the low fee structure that creates total absence of urgency to do anything productive for the society.

Jamia protests provoked me to explore the same for the university, with almost similar results, probably worse. Let’s see the facts and you can decide.

Lets go to the basics first. Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) has about 18500 students in college level courses. Here is the breakup. Notice the 2003 students under PhD. This is almost 50% of the overall PG course strength. This is dis-proportionally high for any university. This is supported by a teaching faculty of 729.

With a reputation of a premier varsity amongst the minorities, it should attract the best and the brightest I assume. The results, however indicate a different story; 76% pass percent amongst men and 62% pass percent for women is shocking. See the pass percentage below:

This for a “premier” varsity is hardly anything to speak of. But I thought I may be misreading the data. So I tried to uncover more information on how this looks subject wise. As usual, the rot lies in the humanities and social sciences. See below that the pass percentage of regular students in humanities is less than 50% in some cases.

So how are our PhD scholars doing? Protests aside, the results speak louder than words.

Did I get this right? So with this rate, an average PhD student takes 7.6 years to complete the doctoral research! With a limited experience I have about education, 7.6 years for a PhD is obscene. More so in a poor country like ours. Are they doing some special research? Let’s explore.

We see a total of 921 publications from the campus in 2017-18. With a faculty count of 729 and 2000 doctoral scholars, this is a 0.33 papers per person for faculty and PhDs combined. How about a national protest for this ?

Now the output can’t be looked at without the cost that goes in. This brings us to the Income statement of the varsity. Notice the grants and subsidies by the government here. With a total spends of Rs 599 crore, JMI spends Rs 3.23 lac per student annually. Can we afford such a waste of resources, that too on a 60 – 72% pass percentage?

This is not all. Here is the data about collaborative research papers published by JMI. I noticed something interesting. Majority of the papers have been published in collaboration with varsities of Saudi Arabia!

I’m not surprised. In the name of “international” students, Jamia varsity majorly has 161 students from Afghanistan, 25 from Iran, 10 from Palestine and rest in low single digits (except Nepal). Does education mean embracing a global outlook or is about just confining to a particular school of thought?

Finally, the protest that is making news.

With pass percentage of ~70% and 2000 PhD scholars taking 7.6 yrs for research, I see that there is ample time to protest on “national issues”. Education and outcomes can wait, so can the enlightenment that comes with the right education? I doubt how many have even read what the CAA contains, let alone understand it.

If this is being fed in the name of education, I protest!

Meanwhile, there is a debate on who started the violence in campus and whether the police acted out of their remit in controlling it. I saw an interesting info in the JMI report. The campus has 217 CCTV cameras across campus, with locations as below. The below table indicates that cameras cover everything that there is to monitor at the varsity. So why the fuss about how and who started the violence?

Let’s see if the 217 CCTV cameras can solve the puzzle of who started the violence. Can we stop the politics and have the CCTV footage please?


JMI University website and annual reports.

University Reports- Financial Reports

-by Anurag Singh

(This article has been reproduced from Quora. The author is found on twitter)

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