This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Shivani Gautam. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Who Is Welcome To Study At The ₹1000 Cr Jio Institute?

More from Shivani Gautam

On July 8, the Ministry of Human Resources announced six universities, three each in the public and private sector as an ‘Institute of Eminence’. In a series of tweets, Prakash Javedkar said that India has around 800 Universities and none of them make it to the top 100 in the world rankings. He further tweeted that the decision is a landmark decision by the government because it is new and has not been tried before, and also because it will ensure full autonomy to the institutes so that they can take their own decisions. At the same time, to make sure that nobody is denied equal opportunity in education, the government plans on providing scholarships and fee waivers.

However, the decision sparked controversy when the names of the ‘Institutes of Eminence’ were announced. Amongst the public institutes, on which the government plans to spend 1000 crore in the next five years, are IIT Delhi, Bombay and IISc Bengaluru. While Jio Institute, which is yet to have a campus or a website, featured on the list of private institutes along with BITS Pilani and Manipal Academy of Higher Education.

Jio institute has been trending on Twitter ever since, with many users tagging Prakesh Javedkar in their tweets asking him about the credentials and location of the University. Soon Congress attacked the government over the decision and tweeted: “The BJP Govt. favours Mukesh & Nita Ambani yet again. The illusionary JIO Institute which is yet to see the light of day has been declared as an ’eminent’ institute. The Govt needs to clarify the basis of classification for granting such a status. #SuitBo…”

Sensing the tension build, the Ministry of HRD came up with its defence in a tweet and clarified that, “clause 6.1 of the UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulation, 2017 provides for a completely new proposal to establish an institution to be considered under this project.” It further stated that Jio institute fulfilled all the four stated parameters of Greenfield Project and thus has been awarded the title.

The parameters have themselves raised voices of displeasure and incertitude in the academic fraternity. Former Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor and eminent scientist S.K. Sopory said the very idea of a future institution being seen as an ‘Institution of Eminence’ did not make sense. “The most surprising is Jio Institute. It hasn’t even come up, which means there is no way of it proving itself.” In a conversation with The Hindu, he mentioned that eminence requires a reputation an institution has earned.

The very idea of including a greenfield project in the list of institutes of eminence is problematic because the aim of ‘Institutes of Eminence’ is to feature in the world’s top universities. It should be taken into consideration that most world-class universities are old and well established, which is a major reason for their inclusion. Furthermore, the criteria put forward by the government makes academic excellence take a back seat as focus is diverted on infrastructure and resources. It’s for time to tell whether Jio institute builds up to the expectation of the government. Meanwhile, it is important for us to wonder, to which section of the society would such wannabe “world class institutes” be accessible to.

It’s rather eye-opening to know that only a mere 10% of the Indian population has access to university education in India, so maybe before competing for a place in the world, we should provide opportunities for students who can’t afford university education.

Maybe, we will one day achieve the goal of standing at par with world class universities by commercialising education with the underprivileged at the receiving end. Maybe a world rank will add a feather to India’s cap by sweeping under the carpet the wide scale inequalities in the Indian education system. While India may benefit from its promised soon to be achieved world ranking, it will be interesting to note how far would this ‘landmark’ decision be able to ‘revolutionise’ the Indian education system.

_

Image source: Shailesh Raval/India Today Group via Getty Images
You must be to comment.
  1. Sree Arravind

    As mentioned in this news unquestionably India has to provide accessing of University education to the students in high numbers. Even MHRD justifies the act by saying Jio Institute was selected under the green field category, this decision baffled many recognizable private universities and the people of this country. Moreover, already India has some problem with standardising the higher education system, so these kinds of action from MHRD surely raise the concern about authority which levels the nation’s educational system.

More from Shivani Gautam

Similar Posts

By Vipashyana Dubey

By Imran Hasib

By Meemansa Narula

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below