Sunday, December 3, 2023

JNU to shut down Centre for Historical Studies library, students say ‘not an isolated move’

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The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is arbitrarily shutting down the Centre for Historical Studies (CHS)’s library that houses important books and documents, alleged students.

The CHS Library houses a rare collection of books on history which also act as a documentation centre.

Around 18,000 books, PhD theses, and gifted journals have been stored in the library funded by the UGC for reference purposes only.

The move by varsity’s administration is being taken to set up a Special Centre for Tamil Students. The administration put a board for the Special Centre for Tamil Students outside the CHS library.

However, to construct and establish a separate Tamil Literary Studies Department, the JNU officials received 10 crore rupees from the Tamil Nadu government last year. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.K. Stalin himself presented the cheque for 5 crores for the same. The cheque was handed over to Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, Vice-Chancellor of the university.

The new move has sparked unease among research scholars and ardent history enthusiasts as the said library is one stop to resolving all the research and history-related queries for the student community.

The student community of the Centre for Historical Studies released a statement opposing the move and said, “This issue is not an isolated incident but part of a recurring pattern where libraries and reading rooms are being closed down within the JNU campus by the JNU administration.”

It also stated that the Library in the School of Languages has been locked out since 2019, and an attempt to close the reading room in the School of International Studies has also been made in the past.

“This resonates with the larger pattern of the central government slashing the funding of academic institutions”, the statement further reads.

The student group urged the academic and student community to show solidarity and oppose the closing down of the CHS library calling it a “shameful move”.

Moreover, the JNU admin has inaugurated the Special Centre for Tamil Studies which “introduces special courses, translation and learning of the oldest language and its great culture” calling it an implementation of “NEP2020 and the vision and mission of PM Shri Narendra Modi”.

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