Jamia’s Minority Tag

Recently I had seen the interview of VC Mr. Najeeb Jung from Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi  on the Loksabha TV. It is one of the rare interview’s in which Mr. Najeeb Jung had spoken about Jamia. His saying at the interview has prompted me to write this article.
In the interview, Mr. Najeeb Jung had been asked about the reservation policy at Jamia and about the OBC reservation, and what he said, shocked me. He said that “Currently Jamia only has the capacity to admit 9000 students, but now in Jamia around 20000 students are studying (at around 100% of over capacity addition). If the OBC quota was implemented at Jamia, it will have to accommodate around 37000 students (nearly 100% increases) in the time frame of 3 years which is ultimatum of central govt. to implement the OBC quota in central universities. The biggest problem of Jamia to implement OBC is the infrastructure. Jamia doesn’t have required infrastructure to admit these huge number of students.”

So one can wonder how difficult the situation is faced by our VC to implement the OBC quota. It is almost an impossible task to admit nearly 100% students in a short span of time without compromising on quality and without sufficient funds. We also know that Jamia is presently overutilising its capacity and to increase its capacity more than the limits will simply destroy Jamia.

The recent grant of Minority status to Jamia is just to give some relief to Mr. Najeeb Jung. It gives him the right to not compulsory implement the OBC quota. The minority tag status is a completely flawed one. I myself had completely studied the judgment on the minority status; it has so many of loopholes and errors. The judgment if we closely examine is flawed on lots of ground, believe me if it is being challenged in the higher court, the court will for sure put a stay on the minority status of Jamia.  Jamia has been granted the minority status by the minority commission forcefully. It will solve Jamia’s problem of over expanding infrastructure and facility for a short time. The judgment is flawed on to that extent that, any court can enforce a stay for an indefinite period on Jamia’s minority status.

The grant of minority status will give relief to the top management for their inability to implement quota, but it will definitely hamper the brand value of Jamia. In the interview Mr. Najeeb Jung had clearly mentioned that “The minority tag will hurt the students who will pass out from the instruction.” So in the long run Jamia will not flourish, it will decline. Now days if we compare Jamia Hamdard, the minority institution and Jamia Millia Islamia, both are in Delhi but the reputation and brand value of Jamia Millia Islamia is 10 times better than the Jamia Hamdard due to its Secular Character.  After the minority tag it will certainly decline the below the level of Jamia Hamdard, which will not be acceptable to JMI’s alumni, management, students and the government.

The solution to the quota problem lies in the hand of government. It is that university where reservation quota policy is not much of relevance and it is proved by this fact that Jamia Millia Islamia had achieved the objectives of the reservation system without specific quota and  reservation system in the past and it is continuously achieving this objectives in the present also.

Mr. Jung rightly expressed in the interview that “Jamia is perfect example of Hindu- Muslim integrity, where people from different community, cast and religion integrate. If Jamia model is followed all over India, we should not have a separate Pakistan presently”. Jamia model is definitely a deflamation of government reservation policy; the government does not want institutions like Jamia to survive. So the government is playing with the character of the institution. So what is the need of this thing right now? The recent minority tag is also related to win over the large minority vote bank. But Jamia is not a tool of the vote bank politics, all the stakeholders, students and alumnus do not want Jamia to become a tool in the hand of government to pursue its vote bank politics interest. But unfortunately these things influence the vote bank due to large number of illiterate people in the vote bank.

Educated and empowered person know these entire thing but unfortunately they used to distance themselves from the election process, by not voting at all.  Recent survey by the election commission had revealed the fact that over 50% of the educated people don’t vote at all. So the large chunk of votes that the party is getting is the vote of the uneducated and unempowered people, who can be fooled very easily.

The government has to bring an ordinance to solve the recent crisis of implementation of OBC quota in Jamia. The government had given the special status to not implement any quota at all for example for Indian Institute of Science, ISRO etc.  The ordinance should be presented in the parliament in the form of a bill. The bill should provide exemption for implementation of any kind of quota in Jamia.  If the government wants that Jamia will survive in the long run, it definitely has to give Jamia an exemption from implementing the reservation and quota politics of government. If the world top university’s like Stanford, Oxford etc. can achieve their social and cultural objective without any formal policy of reservation. So why can’t Jamia?

(The interview was recorded before the grant of the minority status to Jamia Millia Islamia)

Naveen Sharma