Jawaharlal Nehru University is the foremost university in India, and a world-renowned centre for teaching and research. Ranked number one in India by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a Grade Point of 3.91 (on a scale of 4), 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.
Still a young university, established by an act of Parliament in 1966, the strength, energy, and reputation of Jawaharlal Nehru University result from the vision that ideas are a field for adventure, experimentation and unceasing quest, and that diversity of opinions are the basis for intellectual exploration. JNU is the place for the intellectually restless, the insatiably curious, and the mentally rigorous, giving them the space to grow amidst the calmness of an oasis, a green lung within the hustle and bustle and the crowds of the capital city of India.
Coming into being in 1969, three years after its establishment by Parliament, JNU brought frontier disciplines and newer perspectives for old disciplines to the Indian university system. The excellent teacher-student ratio at 1:10, the mode of instruction which encourages students to explore their own creativity instead of reproducing received knowledge, and of exclusively internal evaluation, were also new to the Indian academic landscape and have stood the test of time. The very Nehruvian objectives embedded in the founding of the University – ‘national integration, social justice, secularism, the democratic way of life, international understanding and a scientific approach to the problems of society’, had built into them constant and energetic endeavour to renew knowledge through self- questioning. The educational philosophy of the university gets translated into its somewhat unorthodox academic structure. Grounded in a faith in the unity of knowledge, JNU has sought to avoid the narrowly conceived Department structure of conventional universities, preferring instead to bring allied disciplines within a few broad and inclusive entities called Schools, under whose interactive ambit are placed the more specialized units, called Centres, There are also Special Centres that are outside even the broad structures of School but may grow further. Then there are Research Clusters that cut across Schools and Centres as well as some programmes, which are placed within specific schools but are built on the interests of faculty across the university. At present there are ten Schools and four Special Centres in the University.
JNU was the first to offer courses in foreign languges in an integrated five year MA programme. At the Master’s level, where most of the Schools begin their academic programme, training is largely oriented towards single disciplines (although all M.A. students are encouraged to do a few courses outside their subject) but at the research level the disciplinary boundaries become more permeable. Work in overlapping or borderline areas – e.g., between environment and literary studies, economics and science, sociology and aesthetics, or linguistics and biology – is not uncommon among the Ph. D. students of JNU. Not only are the research scholars encouraged to cross the invisible walls around disciplines, the relationship between the academia and the world outside also remains negotiable, often resulting in mutually beneficial collaboration in areas that form crossroads for developing an understanding of society, culture and science. As in the academic structure, so in its teaching process and evaluation pattern, JNU was one of the first in India to depart from the well- trodden path by emphasizing the continuity of the learning process rather than isolatiing the final exam as the only tool of measuring achievement. Grading is done throughout the semester, ensuring students’ participation and involvement in curricular work, and re-animating the collaborative process of generating knowledge in the class room. Even at the M.A. level, students are encouraged to carry out independent research projects in limited areas which result in short term paper.
Jawaharlal Nehru University has collaborated with universities across the world in research projects, conferences, and publications. It has many active MoUs with international and national universities and exvhanges faculty and students with them regularly. We also host the Indian segment of some international degree programmes. Several academic Centres of the university have been declared by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to be ‘Centres of Excellence’. These are the Centre for Historical Studies, the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, the Centre for Political Studies, the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, and Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, all in the School of Social Sciences. In addition, three Science Schools – School of Physical Sciences, School of Life Sciences and School of Environmental Sciences – have also received UGC’s recognition as Centres for Excellence. The Centre for English Studies, School of Language, Literatuer & Culture Studies, has also been identified for Departmental Research Support under the Special Assistance Programme of the UGC. JNU itself has been given the status of the ‘University of Excellence’ by the UGC.
JNU was established in 1969 by an act of parliament. It's primary objective was to promote the study of principles of national integration, social justice, secularism, democratic way of life, international understanding and scientific approach in solving the problems of society. Over the years, it has been a model university in terms of academic excellence. Being unique of its kind in India, it is truly multinational and multicultural. Another objective of the founders of this university was to make it a premier institution of higher learning for students of the erstwhile Third World countries. The university from the very beginning was meant to be a centre for Third World studies. A third objective of the university has been to promote research and teaching leading to the increasing engagement of its students and teachers in higher level academic work and national and international policy making.
The once rugged terrain of the Aravali hill range, where the 1000 -acre campus is housed is now lush green. Parts of it hosts dense forests known as the JNU ridge, sustain a birdwatcher's paradise and wild life. It is home to over 200 species of birds and mammals like nilgai, jackal, mongoose, peacock as well as a large number of snakes.
JNU is located in the southern part of New Delhi, Capital of India. and is well connected by road from the three main Railway Stations, i.e. New delhi and Delhi and Nizammudin railway station as well as the Inter-state Bus Terminus of Delhi. It is also a short distance away from the Indira Gandhi International Airport. In short JNU is easily accessible from anywhere in the world. 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.
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