Jawaharlal Nehru University

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is a public university located in New Delhi, India. It was established in 1969.

Jawaharlal Nehru University
Established22 April 1969
Budget200 crore (US$29 million) (FY)[1]
Vice-ChancellorMamidala Jagadesh Kumar[3]
VisitorPresident of India
Academic staff
Other students
Location, ,
CampusUrban, total 1,019 acres (4.12 km2)
AffiliationsUGC, NAAC, AIU, Washington University in St. Louis McDonnell International Scholars Academy[5]


Administration building at JNU

Jawaharlal Nehru University was established in 1969 by an act of parliament.[6] It was named after Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister. G. Parthsarthi was the first vice-chancellor.[7] Prof. Moonis Raza was the Founder Chairman and Rector.[8][9] The bill for the establishment of Jawaharlal Nehru University was placed in the Rajya Sabha on 1 September 1965 by the then minister of education, M. C. Chagla. During the discussion that followed, Bhushan Gupta, member of parliament, voiced the opinion that this should not be yet another university. New faculties should be created, including scientific socialism, and one thing that this university should ensure was to keep noble ideas in mind and provide accessibility to students from weaker sections of society. The JNU Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on 16 November 1966 and the JNU Act came into force on 22 April 1969.[10]

The Indian School of International Studies was merged with the Jawaharlal Nehru University in June 1970. Following the merger, the prefix "Indian" was dropped from the name of the School and it became the School of International Studies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.[11]

Recognised institutes

JNU has granted recognition and accreditation to the following institutions across the country.[12]

List of Defence Institutions Granted Recognition under JNU
Institution Location
Army Cadet College Dehradun
College of Military Engineering Pune
Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering Secunderabad
Military College of Telecommunication Engineering Mhow
National Defence Academy Pune
Indian Naval Academy Ezhimala
List of Business School under JNU
Institution Established Location
Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship[13][14] 23 August 2018 New Delhi

Research and Development Institutions

In addition, the university has exchange programmes and academic collaboration through the signing of MoUs with 71 universities around the world. The University has also sent a proposal to set up a Center in Bihar.[15] The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) trainee officers will be awarded an MA degree in Public Management from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi.[16]

Activism and controversy

The JNU is infused with an intense political life on campus. Students that leave campus are said to acquire a "permanently changed outlook on life" as a result of the student politics. The politicisation of campus life has led to a refusal to brush under the carpet social issues such as feminism, minority rights, social and economic justice. All such issues are debated fiercely in formal and informal gatherings.[17]

The JNU student politics is left-of-centre even though, in recent years, right-wing student groups have also entered the field. Political involvement is "celebratory in spirit." The student union elections are preceded by days of debates and meetings, keeping all students involved. The JNU has the reputation of an "unruly bastion of Marxist revolution." However, the student activists deny the charge, stating that the politics at JNU is issue-based and intellectual.[17]

The university is known for its alumni who now occupy important political and bureaucratic positions (see Notable alumni below). In part, this is because of the prevalence of Left-Centric student politics and the existence of a written constitution for the university to which noted Communist Party of India leader Prakash Karat contributed exhaustively during his education at JNU.[22]

On 24 October 2008 the Supreme Court of India stayed the JNU elections and banned the JNUSU for not complying with the recommendations of the Lyngdoh committee.[note 1][24] After a prolonged struggle and multi-party negotiations, the ban was lifted on 8 December 2011.[25] After a gap of more than four years, interim elections were scheduled again on 1 March 2012.[26] Following the election results declared on 3 March 2012, All India Students Association (AISA) candidates won all four central panel seats and Sucheta De, the president of AISA became the president of JNUSU.[27]

In April 2000, two army officers who disturbed an Indo-Pak mushaira at the JNU campus were beaten up by agitated students.[28] The officers were angered by anti-war poems recited by two Pakistani poets[28] and disrupted the mushaira.[29] They were enraged at the recited lines of a poem by progressive Urdu poetess, Fahmida Riaz Tum bhi bilkul hum jaise nikle ("It turned out you were just like us") and interpreted the lines as a criticism of India.[30] One of them started to shout anti-Pakistan slogans.[29] When the audience asked for silence, one of them pulled a gun. They were overpowered by security[30] and then beaten by students, though not seriously injured.[29][31] The Indian Army denied the charges and it was reported that the two army officers were admitted in hospitals.[32] A retired judge was appointed to probe the accusation.[33]

In 2010 a "JNU Forum Against War on People" was organised "to oppose Operation Green Hunt launched by the government."[34] According to the NSUI national general secretary, Shaikh Shahnawaz, the meeting was organised by the Democratic Students Union (DSU) and All India Students Association (AISA) to "celebrate the killing of 76 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh."[34] Shaikh Shahnawaz also stated that "they were even shouting slogans like 'India murdabad, Maovad zindabad'."[34][note 2] NSUI and ABVP activists undertook a march against this meeting,[34] "which was seen as an attempt to support the Naxalites and celebrate the massacre,"[37] whereafter the various parties clashed.[34] The organisers of the forum said that "the event had nothing to do with the killings in Dantewada" [38]

In 2015, the JNU Student's Union and the All India Students Association objected to efforts to create instruction on Indian culture. Opposition to such courses was on the basis that such instruction was an attempt to saffronise education.[39] Saffronisation refers to right-wing efforts to glorify ancient Hindu culture. The proposed courses were successfully opposed and were, thus, "rolled back." A former student of JNU and a former student union member, Albeena Shakil, claimed that BJP officials in government were responsible for proposing the controversial courses.[40]

2015 Rainbow Walk

On 28 December 2014, the symbolic "Rainbow Tree" which stood for LGBTQ pride was vandalised.[41] To counter the "growing homophobia" on the campus, JNU Students’ Union along with other queer groups like Anjuman and Dhanak, led a march on 9 January, called Rainbow Walk.[41] The march started from JNU's Ganga Dhaba and ended at the Rainbow Tree spot.[42] The protestors criticised the 2013 verdict of the Supreme Court nullifying the Delhi High Court order reading down Section 377 of the IPC.[41] The campaign aimed at celebrating individual right to sexual freedom and identity.[41] The march was filled with songs and slogans; the students also painted a zebra crossing in rainbow colours and wrapped trees with rainbow coloured threads.[43]

2016 sedition controversy

On 9 February, a cultural evening was organised by 10 students, formerly of the Democratic Students' Union (DSU), at the Sabarmati Dhaba, against the execution of Afzal Guru and separatist leader Maqbool Bhat, and for Kashmir's right to self-determination.[44] "Anti-India" slogans like "Pakistan Zindabad", "Kashmir ki azadi tak jung chalegi, Bharat ki barbadi tak jung chalegi" ("War will continue till Kashmir's freedom, war will continue till India's demolition") were reportedly raised at the protest meet."[44][45] Protests by members of ABVP were held at the University demanding expulsion of the student organisers.[46]

JNU administration ordered a "disciplinary" enquiry into the holding of the event despite denial of permission, saying any talk about country's disintegration cannot be "national".[47] The Delhi Police arrested the JNU Students' Union President Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy, under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code dating back to 1860.[48][49]

International Student's Association

The International Student's Association (ISA) is an official Jawaharlal Nehru University body. It was instituted in 1985 with a view to promoting friendly relations and cultural exchange. The ISA has a constitution and elected executive, cultural, advisory and financial committees. All foreign students of JNU are also members of the FSA. The university has 133 international students.[50]


JNU was awarded the "Visitor's Award" for "Best University" in 2017 [51][52] by the President of India.


Institute rankings
General – India
NIRF (Overall) (2019)[53]7
NIRF (Universities) (2019)[54]2

Jawaharlal Nehru University is the foremost university in India, and a world-renowned center for teaching and research. JNU was ranked no 3 among all universities in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework, Government of India, in 2016 and no 2 in 2017. JNU also received the Best University Award from the President of India in 2017.[55] JNU was ranked sixth overall in the National Institutional Ranking Framework ranking of 2018 and second among universities.

Notable Alumni and Faculty

The university's alumni include 2019 Nobel Laureate for Economics Prof. Abhijit Banerjee, former Prime Minister of Libya Ali Zeidan and former Prime Minister of Nepal Baburam Bhattarai, as well as several politicians, diplomats, artists, academics, and scientists.

See also


  1. "Lyngdoh Committee"[23]
  2. "Death to India",[35] "long live Maoism"[36]


  1. "Everything you need to know about how JNU uses taxpayers' money, in 5 charts". Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  2. "Chancellor". Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  3. "Vice Chancellor". Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  4. "46th Annual Report (1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 June 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  5. "McDonnell International Scholars Academy".
  6. "Jawaharlal Nehru University Act 1966" (PDF). Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  7. AP Venkitewaran, Kapila Vatsyayan (7 July 2012). "Remembering GP, the gentle colossus". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  8. "We need a sustainable framework that synthesizes human and environmental elements of security: Vice President". pib.nic.in. Press Information Bureau Government of India Vice President's Secretariat. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  9. Raza, Moonis; Nangia, Sudesh (27 November 1986). "Atlas of the Child in India". Concept Publishing Company via Google Books.
  10. "Jawaharlal Nehru University Vision". Archived from the original on 29 January 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  11. "School of International Studies | Welcome to Jawaharlal Nehru University".
  12. "Recognised Institutes". www.jnu.ac.in. Jawaharlal Nehru University. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  13. "JNU Just Named Its New Management School After Atal Bihari Vajpayee". HuffPost India. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  14. "Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management and Entrepreneurship". www.jnu.ac.in. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  15. "After BHU, JNU submits proposal to set up a Campus in Bihar". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  16. Gohain, Manash Pratim (24 November 2015). "IAS trainees to get MA degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  17. Roy Chowdhury 2013, p. 225.
  18. "High Court says no protests within 100 metres of admin block in JNU". The Indian Express. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  19. "Now JNU students cannot protest within 100 metres of admin block". India Today. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  20. "HC makes JNU's freedom square out of bound for protesting students". Hindustan Times. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  21. "JNU Seeks Contempt Action Against Student Protesting Within 100 Metres Of Admin Block". Outlook India. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  22. The Indian Express, ‘Difficult to adapt to life outside JNU’
  23. "Lyngdoh Committee" (PDF). University Grants Commission. 2006. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  24. "The recommendation of the Committee accepted by the Hon'ble Supreme Court for implementation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  25. "Supreme Court lifts stay on JNUSU elections after 3 years". The Times of India.
  26. "Polls for JNU students on Feb 23, counting on same day". Indian Express. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  27. Raza, Danish (3 March 2012). "JNU student union elections: Clean sweep for ultra-left AISA". Firstpost.com. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  28. Sharma, Bharat Das (6 May 2000). "Editorial". The Tribune, Chandigarh, India. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  29. "rediff.com Special: Jingoism at the JNU". Rediff.com. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  30. Pathak, Vikas (22 February 2016). "NDA then and now". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  31. "rediff.com: Pak poet's take on Pokhran angers audience". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  32. "The Hindu : Army denies JNU students' charge". The Hindu. 2 May 2000. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  33. Offensive, Marking Them (5 August 2000). "Retired judge to probe JNU fracas". The Times of India. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  34. Gohain, Manash Pratim (11 April 2010). "Pitched battle over 'people's war' at JNU". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 17 November 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  35. "murdabad". Collins English Dictionary. Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  36. "zindabad". Collins English Dictionary. Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  37. "Dantewada ambush celebrations spark protest". IBNLive. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  38. "Dantewada aftershocks at JNU". NDTV.com. 12 April 2010. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  39. Sebastian, Kritika Sharma (10 October 2015). "Course on Indian culture is 'saffronisation': JNU students". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  40. Iqbal, Naveed (22 February 2016). "Kanhaiya's predecessors: Where they are, what they do". The Indian Express. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  41. "JNU queers its campus with 'Rainbow Walk'". dna. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  42. "'Rainbow tree' vandalized, JNU's LGBTs to protest - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  43. Jain, Mayank. "In Delhi's JNU, vandals deface trees that serve as gay rights symbols". Scroll.in. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  44. "Afzal Guru: A martyr in JNU campus? Anti-India slogans raised, no arrests made : News". IndiaToday. 11 February 2016. Archived from the original on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  45. "Don't join the Anti India platform because you are Anti Modi", The Economic Times, 18 February 2016
  46. "JNU orders probe into Afzal Guru event". theweek.in. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  47. India (10 February 2016). "Afzal Guru event: Anti-India slogans at JNU campus; 'disciplinary' enquiry ordered". The Indian Express. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  48. "JNU student leader held on 'sedition' charges over Afzal Guru event". The Indian Express. 13 February 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  49. "Why an Indian student has been arrested for sedition". BBC News. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  50. "Statistical Data of Central Universities – Jawaharlal Nehru University". Archived from the original on 15 August 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  51. "JNU wins Visitor's Awards 2017 for best university". Business Standard. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  52. ANI (2 March 2017). "JNU wins Visitor's Awards 2017 for best university" via Business Standard.
  53. "National Institutional Ranking Framework 2019 (Overall)". National Institutional Ranking Framework. Ministry of Human Resource Development. 2019.
  54. "National Institutional Ranking Framework 2019 (Universities)". National Institutional Ranking Framework. Ministry of Human Resource Development. 2019.
  55. Jawaharlal Nehru University


  • Roy Chowdhury, Sharmishtha (2013), "Jawaharlal Nehru University", in Mary Elizabeth Devine; Carol Summerfield (eds.), International Dictionary of University Histories, Routledge, pp. 224–227, ISBN 978-1-134-26210-6

Further reading

  • JNU: Retrospect and Prospect, New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1986
  • Reddy, G. Ram (1995), Higher Education in India: Conformity, Crisis and Innovation, New Delhi: Sterling Publishers
  • K. B. Powar; S. K. Panda, eds. (1995), Higher Education in India: In search of quality, New Delhi: Association of Indian Universities
  • Gore, M. S. (1994), Indian Education: Structure and Process, Jaipur: Rawat
  • Ghose, Subhash Chandra (1993), Academics and Politics, New Delhi: Northern Book Centre

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