Indian university declared minority institution
NEW DELHI, Feb. 24 -- Jamia, the road ahead
By Isha Arora and Nabeela Khan
She was fidgeting around the reception desk at Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), fumbling for help to enquire about the selection procedure next year. Anjulika Jethwani, a postgraduate diploma holder in journalism from Lucknow aspires to join MCRC in the coming academic year. The recent declaration regarding Jamia Millia Islamia University’s minority status in the news rung the alarm bells for her.
The atmosphere is hysterical all around, though the emotions differ. Pankaj Tomar wears a worried expression. This BIBF final year student says, “Getting in Jamia was way easy for me as I belong to SC category but now I am unsure of what lies ahead.” Jamia is the first central university to be granted minority status by NCMEI(National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions). As per the status, it can scrap the 22.5% SC/ST quota. However, the media spokesperson of Jamia, Simi Malhotra said, “The university has been working as a secular institution and shall uphold its principles”.
Manish pursuing graduation from JMI holds a different opinion on the minority status. He said, “Already there are a lot of biases prevalent here.” He sarcastically commented that a Manish would score in between 55-60 whereas a Mohammed Manish has chances of scoring much higher here. Hilaans, an English Honors’ student, talks on the same lines. He says, “The status would accentuate the Muslim tag associated with the university. It would eventually lower down the merit of the institution”.
Amidst the gloomy faces, Aiman’s eyes beamed with a future full of opportunities. She studies Bsc Bioscience in Jamia. Her voice exuded happiness when she shared, “Muslims who are orthodox in their views would not hesitate anymore in sending their girls to this university taking in account the 50% reservation for Muslims”. She went on to say, “If St. Stephens can have minority quota for Christians then why cannot Jamia do the same for Muslims?” Her question might be relevant but it misses out on the point that St. Stephen’s is not a University.