In conversation with An interview with Prof. S. N. Malakar, Chairperson, Centre for African Studies, sis


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A University stands for humanism. For tolerance, for reason, for the adventure of ideas and for the search of truth. It stands for the onward march of the human race towards ever higher objectives. If the Universities discharge their duties adequately, then it is well with the Nation and the People.

The symbol is a graphic statement which stands for international academic exchange and onwards search of knowledge for the betterment of human being.

The overlapping circular segments of the design denote global interaction, creating a flame emitting enlightenment, this flame emerges out of the traditional Indian 'diya' (lamp)-a source of Light, Understanding and Brotherhood.

The design is also representative of the rose-bud closely associated with the name of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

JNU News is a bimonthly journal of Jawaharlal Nehru University. It serves to bridge the information gap and tries to initiate constant dialogue between various consitituents of the University community as well as with the rest of the academic world. Views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily of JNU News. All articles and reports published in it may be freely reproduced with acknowledgment.

In conversation with…..

An interview with Prof. S.N.Malakar, Chairperson, Centre for African Studies, SIS.

Bhoomika: When and how did your association with JNU begin?

Prof. Malakar: I joined SIS in 1980. Before that, having passed out from Bhagalpur University, I was working as a middle school teacher but without pay in a village in Lakhisarai of Munger district. I wanted to study further. Someone told me that there was a Marxist University in Delhi where I stood a better chance than in BHU and where I could also learn English. So I borrowed money from friends and filled the form. I got selected too. But the interview was a tough deal for me as I could neither speak English nor very proper Hindi. My Hindi came out mixed with Maithili and Angika. The interview board consisted of Prof. K.P. Saxena and Prof. Urmila Phadnis. However, Prof. Vimal Prasad joined them only to help them understand what I was saying. They liked my answers and selected me. I am grateful to JNU. This is the only University which strives to bring in students with great potential from the remotest corners of the country. Later, when classes started, my woes knew no end as all professors taught in English. Prof. Girijesh Pant advised me to attend all the classes even if I understood nothing. I never missed classes and benefitted from this. All my teachers helped me.

Bhoomika: Were you active in politics?

Prof. Malakar: Yes, I was. When I came for my interview, I stayed as guest with some AISF activists. I joined that organisation later. In 1982-83, I was elected as the Councillor from SIS. In 1983 the political atmosphere of JNU changed. It was a time of struggle for all of us. It was a sad period. The aura of JNU stood faded. There was a zero year and the deprivation points in admission were reduced. In '84, I contested the election for the president's post. I was defeated by the SFI candidate by a mere margin of 47 votes. It was a historic event as AISF had never been such a potent rival of SFI. After that I concentrated on finishing Ph.D. In 1990, I joined JNU as Associate Professor in Centre for West Asian and African Studies.

Bhoomika: Tell us something about the new Centre for African Studies.

Prof. Malakar: Since long, prof. Ajay Dubey and I had felt that African Studies should have an independent centre in JNU. We pursued this and finally, it came into being on 10th of December, 2009. We have executed many programmes. We have around 40 scholars in the Centre. We keep all 55 African countries in mind while picking up research areas. We focus on two major approaches. Firstly, we look at the internal dynamics of African nations- the socio-economic, cultural and ethnic conditions. Secondly, we encourage Comparative studies between India and Africa alongwith (bilateral and even trilateral), relation between India and Africa. We also focus the India's efforts to persue its relation with AU, ECOWAS, COMESA, SADC, IOC, IBSA etc.

Our thrust area is Indian diaspora in Africa. There are 22 lakh Indians in Africa. We study the specificity of Indian people's relations with every area of Africa they went to. We pay attention to the structure of this diaspora (whether it is permanent or transient), the reaction of the locals to them, impact of their presence on the socio-economic-cultural life of Africa and the nature of their assimilation in the social fabric. We have formed African Studies Association (ASA) which actively organizes seminars, workshops, film shows and talks. The film section is handled entirely by students. We also have a programme called 'Tuesday Africa Seminar' through which academicians, diplomats and cultural activists are invited to the Centre every Tuesday to interact with the students. Two journals in African Studies are also running. Our students have publications in international journals. Over the years JNU's contribution in the area of African studies has been such that no seminar can happen in India without JNU's contribution. We are very well-established in this field. Our assets are, of course, our students. They are the ones who have set milestones in the area of African Studies. But there remains a lot of work to be done in this new centre. We have only two teachers and we need more hands now. We have posts to fill up.

Bhoomika: What is your long term vision for the Centre?

Prof. Malakar: I want the students to develop a holistic view on life and the world. Africa has been divided into different parts according to the colonial history. You must have heard about the Francophone areas and the Anglophone areas and so on. We need to challenge such nomenclature. Also, all these areas need to be explored. We have to undertake separate projects on all of them. We can also exchange significant information in the areas of agriculture and polity.

The eco-social conditions of Africa must be understood entirely before India decides its international policy on Africa. Our job is to research all these angles. Academic impact on bureaucracy is essential in the present times. Any confusion in the international policy can cause a diplomatic disaster. Therefore, bureaucrats should not dictate the relations between India and Africa.

We also aim to increase our collaboration with African universities. The indigenous trends of research in the African academia should be known to us. It is fine to borrow knowledge from the West about Africa. But we should not buy their perspectives too. Following this line of thought, we are already negotiating with two organizations Osseria and Codeseria, for exchange-based programmes.

JNU for me is the motion of my life. The gratitude to this mother institution is not a simple exercise to express.


Prof. B.B. Bhattacharya, Vice-Chancellor shall continue to hold the office of the Vice-Chancellor till his successor is appointed and enters upon his office, in terms of Statute 3(4) of the Statutes of the University.

Professor Ramadhikari Kumar's term as Special Advisor to Vice-Chancellor shall continue till Professor B.B. Bhattacharya, Vice-Chancellor demits the office

The following new Centres of Studies/Special Centres of Studies have been created in JNU:

1. North East Studies Research Centre, School of Social Sciences

2. Media Research Centre, School of Social Sciences

3. Centre for the Studies of the Informal Economy, School of Social Sciences

4. Special Centre for Nano Sciences

The name of the School of Informational Technology has been changed as School of Computational and Integrative Sciences.

Communication and Information Services (CIS) has been bifurcated from the erstwhile School of Information Technology (SIT) now School of Computational and Integrative Sciences.

New Deans/ Chairpersons

  • Prof. Indira Ghosh, reappointed as Dean, School of Computational and Integrative Sciences

  • Prof. Alokesh Barua, Chairperson, Centre for International Trade and Development, School of International Studies

  • Prof. T.Nongbri, Centre for the Study of Social Systems as Concurrent Faculty and first Chairperson, North East Studies Research Centre, School of Social Sciences.

  • Prof. Deepak Kumar, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies as Concurrent Faculty and first Chairperson, Media Research Centre, School of Social Sciences.

  • Prof. Amitabh Kundu, Centre for the Study of Regional Development as Concurrent Faculty and first Chairperson, Centre for the Studies of the Informal Economy, School of Social Sciences.

  • Prof. Sanjay Puri, School of Physical Sciences as Concurrent Faculty and first Chairperson, Special Centre for Nano Sciences.


  • Shri Fateh Singh, Joint Registrar, Inter Hall Administration

  • Shri Chinmay Nath, Technical Officer, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences

  • Shri Raj Singh, Assistant Librarian, EXIM Bank Library

  • Smt. Rajni Ramchandani, Senior Assistant, BAG Section, Finance & Accounts Deptt.

  • Shri S.D.S. Rawat, Senior Assistant, School of Environmental Sciences

  • Shri Ram Lal, A.C. Operator, Engineering Branch

  • Shri B.C Upadhyaya, Office Attendant, Centre of French and Francophone Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies

  • Shri Shyam Lal Rana, Carpenter, Engineering Branch

  • Shri Asha Ram, Helper Mess, Brahmaputra Hostel

  • Smt. Basanti, Safaikaramchari, Sanitation Cell
  • Corrigendum

    Jawaharlal Nehru University Staff Association

    Treasurer : Vinod Singh

    Shri Rajesh Kumar, Junior Engineer (Electrical) Engineering Department


  • Prof. Vaishna Narang, Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies has been accorded the title of “Visiting Professor” by the University of Essex, UK, for a period of three years, from June 2010 to May 2013. Prof. Narang will be participating in research, teaching and other academic activities of the Department of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex during this period.

  • Prof. Ajit K. Mohanty, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, School of Social Sciences has been chosen as a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), USA, “in recognition of (his) sustained outstanding contributions to the advancement of psychological science”. He has also been awarded this year as a Fellow of the National Academy of Psychology, India.

  • Prof. P.A. George, Centre for Japanese, Korean and North East Asian Studies, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, has been invited as a Visiting Research Scholar for one year by the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), Kyoto, Japan, to head a Group Research Project entitled, “Fusion of Religion and Folklore in Literature: A Reinterpretation of Miyazawa Kenji's World View”. Around twenty renowned Japanese professors and scholars from various Universities and Institutes in Japan will be joining Prof. George in this research project.

  • Sh. M.K. Prabhakar, Assistant Registrar (D), has been appointed as Deputy Registrar, Ambedkar University, Delhi on deputation basis.
  • Shri V.K. Manchanda, Section Officer, has been appointed as Assistant Registrar, Ambedkar University, Delhi on deputation basis.

  • Sh. Tarun Sarder and Md. Phakharuddin Ansari, Research Scholars, Centre for Spanish Studies and Centre of Persian and Central Asian Studies, School of languages, Literature and Culture Studies respectively won Bronze Medals in the Delhi State Weight-Lifting Championship 2009-10 organised by Delhi State Weight-Lifting Association.

  • Mr. Subir Rana, Research Scholar, Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences was Selected for the summer school for Graduate 'Borders (I) – Regions and Regionalization' organized by the Research Institute of Contemporary History and Culture (RICH), Hanyang University, Seoul and sponsored by the National Research Foundation of Korea at the Ist Flying University of Transnational Humanities (FUTH), South Korea, Seoul from 11-16 June, 2010. He also presented his research paper titled”End of Innocence: Criminal Tribes Act, 1871”.

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Campus Activities

Annual Sports Presentation 2009-2010

Md. Phakharuddin Ansari won the 'Best Athlete Award' in the Annual Athletic Meet of the University 2009-2010. He also won positions in Weight-Lifting & Power Lifting.

The Annual Sports Presentation was held on March 30, 2010 in the Sports Stadium. Vice Chancellor Prof. B.B. Bhattacharya was the Chief Guest and gave away the prizes to over 175 Prize winners. Other present were Prof. R. Kumar, Special Advisor to Vice Chancellor and Dr. Shankari Sundaraman, Chairperson, USC. Dr. Shankari Sundaraman welcomed the Chief Guest and other Guests on the occasion.

The Vice Chancellor lauded the importance of sports in the University and appreciated the efforts of the sports office in its endeavor to promote and popularize sports in JNU.

Mrs Tambay, Dy. Director, (PE) thereafter read the annual report detailing the activities of all the clubs during the year.

Prize/Certificate for the following games were given away:

Athletics, Badminton, Cricket, Tennis, Taekwondo, Weight-Power Lifting, Bench Press, Body Building, Yoga, Mountaineering & Trekking.

In the end the Assistant Director, (PE) Dr. Vikram Singh proposed a vote of thanks.

Damayanti V. Tambay, Deputy Director, (PE)

Inauguration of the Indian Association of International Studies (IAIS) at JNU

It was a historic occasion when on 6 April, 2010 Hon'ble Vice President of India Shri Mohmmad Hamid Ansari inaugurated the Indian Association of International Studies (IAIS) at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Vice Chancellor, Professor B.B. Bhattacharya presided over the function and formally welcomed the Vice President of India. Dean, Professor Yogesh Kumar Tyagi and the Chairpersons of all the Centres of the School of International Studies felicitated Shri Hamid Ansari.

Congratulating Jawaharlal Nehru University for having taken the initiative of launching the Association, the Vice President, a former visiting professor at the School of International Studies, in his Inaugural Address, underlined the need for such a professional body. In order to participate effectively in international decision-making, he said that a thorough understanding of world dynamics and its implications for India is important. An analysis and a conceptual framework become a necessity and would give credibility to national policies and this requires comprehensive research on countries and regions of significance to India and acquiring tools such as language skills, he added. He hoped that the Association would emerge as platform for exchange of ideas on global studies and identify the deficit areas, so that a more purposeful course in International studies could be charted and public awareness created. He also suggested that scholarship of International affairs be made rewarding and more avenues for employment of scholars created by universities, think tanks, specialized centres of study, Indian business and industry.

Prior to his address, Shri Hamid Ansari released a book at the event, titled “Shaping India's Foreign Policy: People, Politics and Places” co-edited by Professor Amitabh Mattoo and Dr. Happymon Jacob of the School of International Studies. IAIS President Professor Amitabh Mattoo proposed a vote of thanks, in which he highlighted the contribution and participation of various individuals and institutions such as the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).

Priti Singh, Assistant Professor

Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies, SIS
School of Environmental Sciences organizes Earth Day -2010

In the present time, environmental degradation has become the most burning issue in every nook and corner of the world to ponder over. No place or no one on this planet Earth has remained aloof from the ill effects of the ever increasing environmental pollution. Every other day newspapers report about the loss of biodiversity, climate change, or pollution of air, water and soil due to unsustainable developmental activities of human being. In the light of this ongoing difficult situation, the School of Environmental Science, JNU celebrated Earth Day from 21st April to 22nd April 2010 to create awareness about these Environmental problems in the wider community of the University and to find out the possible ways for their mitigation. Earth Day Organizing Committee-2010, a group of student volunteers of the school with the help of other students coordinated the whole programme under the guidance of faculty of the school.

The two day celebration commenced with the plantation drive for which plants, pots manure and other required things were made available by Shri Sunil Kumar, Horticulture Officer; JNU on a simple request. Faculty, staff and students of the school planted saplings in the early hours of the day with the assistance of the school's gardener Sh. Param Lal. Later, in the afternoon, students of the university from different schools participated in Eco- quiz and poster making competition, the venue for which was the Students common Room, SES. Eco-Quiz as the name implies was based on the environment and the questions for which were invited from the faculty members of the school to make it more informative and challenging.

The second day was full of events and started with “Earth Day-2010 Lecture Series”. The theme of the lecture was finding solutions to the environmental problems through traditional cum neo scientific knowledge. The auditorium of the School of Art and Aesthetics saw a good crowd to hear the lectures by eminent environmentalists Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Padma Bhusan, Ramon Magsaysay awardee and Prof. Suman Sahai, Convenor, Gene Campaign. Prof. K. G Saxena, Dean, SES started the lecture series by giving the opening address highlighting the importance of the Earth Day in present context. Prof. Sudha Bhattacharya welcomed audience and the speakers and spoke on the need of wider discussion on environmental problems and their solutions on such forums.

Prof. Suman Sahai delivered a very thoughtful and relevant lecture on “Climate Change and Food Security”. Though the lecture of Prof. Sahai didn't present a very rosy picture of future as per present ongoing exploitation of the nature but still explored many rays of hope by asking intelligentsia to make interventions in the environmental policy making to have a secure future. Prof. J Behari, SES felicitated Ms. Sahai and appreciated her work on different environmental issues. In the next session, Dr. Kasturi Mukhopadhyay, SES welcomed Gandhian environmentalist Shri Cahandi Prasad Bhatt who was aptly recognized by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation in 1982 for his efforts in the birth and sustenance of one of the most popular environmental movement of India, Chipko Andolan (Hug the Tree Movement). Padma Bhusan Sri Bhatt ji spoke on the “Himalaya Paryavaran E evam Vikas ke Kuch Bindu- Chipko ke Anubhav” (Himalayan development and some points for development – Experiences of Chipko). While giving his speech in Hindi he tried to penetrate in the heart of the audience and shared his experiences of the celebrated movement. Interestingly, both the speakers pressed on the concept of sustainable development and emphasized on the core principles of Gandhian Philosophy which says there is enough on Earth for everybody's need but not for greed. On hearing the live experiences from Shri Bhatt ji, Chair of the session Prof S. M. Mukherjee emphasized on the need of a rich blend of traditional knowledge and modern science to find out sustainable solutions of environmental problems.

Lecture series was followed by a session of documentary screening by noted documentary film maker Shri Krishnendu Bose; Earth Care Productions .While welcoming Shri Bose Dr. Sudip Mitra, SES told the audience about the diversity of work of the dynamic documentary maker who screened two environmental documentaries – Latent City and Climate Change: Sunderbans; a Case Study in the SAA auditorium. Chair of the documentary session Prof I. S.Thakur stressed on, how the huge potential of documentaries can be harnessed to deliver the messages about environment to the masses.

The School also organized a presentation series by students showcasing the research done in different labs of the school. The whole programme saw very active participation of the students and faculty of the university with lively discussions. The two day programme finally concluded with a thoughtful summary by Prof. P. S Khillare followed by a vote of thanks by Dr. A. P Dimri, SES, to faculty and students of the school for their nice efforts and to JNU administration for its financial help and cooperation.

Ankur Goyal
Research Scholar, SES
(For Earth Day Organising Committee-2010)

MTNL Will Provide 3G and Wi-Fi Services At Cheapest Rates to JNU

In an endeavourer to provide an exclusive, affordable and dedicated telecommunication network to the students and educational institutes, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) the leading total, telecom service provider has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, on 25 June, 2010.

MTNL would provide its next generation 3G Mobile and Wi-Fi Broadband services at cheapest or concessational rates to the students and University.

Speaking on the new initiative of MTNL, Sachin Pilot, said “JNU is a premier institute in the country, MTNL has offered to facilitate the students of the University to access the Local Area Network (LAN) of JNU using MTNL 3G network. With this initiative MTNL would provide Wi-Fi connectivity to all the JNU Hostels at its own cost to ensure that students, staff, and faculty are able to access affordable high speed Broadband Internet anywhere in the hostels”.

According to Prof. B. B. Bhattacharya, Vice-Chancellor, JNU “Academic resources such as journals containing research publications are shifting to the use of digital media with online access while new technologies were being explored to disseminate them to large research student and faculty base. The MTNL solution is designed to link the university LAN with its 3G infrastructure that permits roaming access to these resources.”

The students would be able to access the various journals, research articles and other literature-resource available with JNU from any place on the campus including the hostels and canteen, and also when they are outside the Campus or even traveling, he added.

Apart from the above, shortly all MTNL 2G and 3G Mobile service users in JNU would also be able to make unlimited free calls to each other. The operator will provide Wi-Fi Broadband service to the students at very affordable charges of Rs. 199 per month in place of Rs. 599.

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