In conversation with jnu news interviewed New Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sudhir Kumar Sopory

Golam Moinuddin, Research Scholar Centre of Persian & Central Asian Studies, SLL&CS


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Golam Moinuddin, Research Scholar Centre of Persian & Central Asian Studies, SLL&CS

National Seminar on "Minorities and the Margins: Colonial Encounter and Post-Colonial Discourses"

The National Seminar on the "Minorities and the Margins: Colonial Encounter and Post-Colonial Discourses" was held in the School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University on 17-18 February, 2011. The seminar was organized by the Programme for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, JNU with the grant from Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) and contingency grant of the PSDE.

The objective of the event was to explore, from the perspective of historical anthropology, the varied indigenous and colonial experiences and strategies for dealing with the new challenges from the margins within the minorities. The issues such as state-minorities relations, regimes of colonial administration, leadership in the post colonial India, minorities and issues of underdevelopment, representation, justice etc.

The two day seminar was organized into six Technical Sessions, and one Round Table and screening of a documentary on Sufi saints of Punjab, and the inaugural session.

The seminar was begun with the welcome note delivered by Professor Geetha B. Nambissan, the Honorary Director of the Programme for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion. The seminar coordinator Dr. Y. Chinna Rao, introduced the theme and focus of the Seminar. The seminar was inaugurated by Prof. Mushirul Hasan, presently Director General of the National Archives of India and former Vice Chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia, who dealt a great deal on the historical aspects of the issue of the minorities in general and Muslim minorities in particular. Prof. T.K. Oommen laid the intellectual ground on the issue of Minorities and the Margins that led the next two-days conference through his keynote address to the seminar. Prof. Nandu Ram, Dean of School of Social Sciences chairman, Standing Committee of the PSDE, who chaired the Inaugural Session, summed up both the speakers and also emphasized on the further research and studies on the minorities issue.

The first technical session was Chaired by Prof. Pralay Kanungo, (CPS/SSS/JNU) and three scholars made their presentations: Prof. Rowena Robinson (Dept. of Social Science and Humanities, IIT Mumbai), on "Indian Christians: Issues from a Perspective of Development"; Dr.Rudolf C. Heridia, SJ (Fellow, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi and Social Science Centre, St Xavier's College, Mumbai,) on "Justifying Reservation Quotas and Minority Rights: Recapturing the Constitutional Vision" and Dr. A. Bimol Akoijam (CSSS/SSS/ JNU) on "Governing the Margins: Nation-State and Its Minorities".

The second technical session was Chaired by Dr. Rudolf C. Heridia, SJ, (Social Science Centre, St Xavier's College, Mumbai) and three scholars made their presentations: Dr. James Massey (Director, CDS, New Delhi) on "The Question of Dalits Christians and State"; Dr. Raja Sekhar Basu (Dept. of History, Univ. of Kolkata) on "The Missionary Involvement with the Slave Castes in late nineteenth century Travancore"; and Mr. L. David Lal (Research Scholar, PSDE, JNU, New Delhi) on the "Faith of Minorities at Margins: An Inquiry into Dalit and Tribal Conversions in Post-Independent India".

The third technical session was Chaired by Prof. Geetha B. Nambissan, Honorary Director, PSDE (ZHCES/SSS/JNU) and four scholars made their presentations: Prof. Yoginder Sikand (IIAS, Shimla) on "Accounting for Muslim Backwardness: Going Beyond Sachar"; Dr. P H Mohammad (CSSEIP, MANUU, Hyderabad) on "Margins among Minorities - The Problems of Muslim Minorities in India"; Dr. Manisha Sethi (CSCRC, JMI, New Delhi) on "Hindus by Law? The case of Jain Minority claims" and Dr. Arshad Alam (CJNS, JMI, New Delhi) on "Empowering the Indian Muslims: Some Reflections".

The forth technical session was Chaired by Prof. Vidhu Verma (CPS/SSS/JNU) and three scholars made their presentations: Dr. Tanweer Fazal (NMCPCR, JMI, New Delhi) on "Nationalism and its Discontents: Representations of Minority and Minority Rights in the Public Sphere"; Dr. Harish Wankhede (Dept. of Pol. Sc., RLA College (E), Univ. of Delhi) on "A Survey of Critics on Social Justice and the Muslim Question"; and Mr. Maidul Islam (D. Phil Scholar, Brasenose College, Oxford) on "Rethinking Muslim Question in Post-Colonial India".

The fifth technical session was Chaired by Prof. Prof. Praveen K. Jha (CESP/SSS/JNU) and four scholars made their presentations: Dr. Selvaraj Arulnathan, SJ (ISI, New Delhi) on "Dalit Christians and Human Rights Violations"; Dr. Ravindra Patil (DSW/JMI, New Delhi) on "Rangnath Mishra Commission Report and Dalit Christians in India"; Dr. Amir Ali (CPS/SSS/JNU, New Delhi) on "The Predicament of being a Minority: Minoritisation or Marginalisation"; and Mr. Mahtab Alam (Human Rights Activist and Journalist) on "Whither Muslims of Jharkhand?".

The sixth technical session was a round table discussion. Senior faculties and scholars who worked and published on the issue were put together to discuss the minorities issue at this session. This session was Chaired by Prof. Valerian Rodrigues (CPS/SSS/JNU) and six scholars made their presentations including: Prof. Rowena Robinson (IIT Mumbai); Prof. Yoginder Sikand (IIAS, Shimla); Prof. Rudolf C. Heradia ((Fellow, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi and Social Science Centre, St Xavier's College, Mumbai); Prof. Praveen K. Jha (JNU, New Delhi); Prof. Rizwan Quaiser (JMI, New Delhi); and Dr. Arshad Alam (JMI, New Delhi)

The last session was Chaired Prof. Yoginder Sikand (IIAS, Shimla). In this session a documentary on Dalit sufis of Punjab was screened entitled Kitte Mil Ve Mahi directed by Ajay Bharadwaj, followed two discussants made their presentations on the documentary by Dr. Priyadarshini Vijaisri (Associate Fellow, CSDS, New Delhi) and Dr. Avinash Kumar (Dept. of Pol. Sc. RLA College (E), University of Delhi). The two –day national conference ended with a vote thanks by the Seminar Coordinator.

Y. Chinna Rao, Seminar Coordinator
Programme for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion, SSS

Our Publications

Book Release

This is detailed ethnobiological study of the Great Andamanese traditional knowledge of birds. The current study is an outcome of the first ever interdisciplinary research in Linguistics and Ornithology. The authors present all the avian Families, Genera and Species recognized by the Great Andamanese people and the current conservation status, threats and distribution of avian species, endemic to the region. Local names of a variety of birds in the Great Andamanese language have been mapped with the scientific names for the first time in the ethno-biological history. The authors provide insightful discussion on the linguistic, morphological, behavioural, and ecological principles as well as the cognitive processes that underlie bird names. The book brings back a highly rich but forgotten culture through the analysis of the Great Andamanese, a moribund language on the verge of extinction. Numerous colour photographs and drawings make the book a fine field guide.

About the Authors

Dr. Satish Pande
Associate Professor of Radiology & Imaging
Ornithologist, author, conservationist and Interventional Radiologist

Prof. Anvita Abbi
Professor of Linguistics, Jawaharlal University, New Delhi, India
Awarded, Leverhulme Professorship 2011, University of London, UK

Doing Gender Doing Geography: Emerging Research in India

For a long time, the discipline of geography had remained one where gender was invisible in the analysis of social space and place. Although recent contributions by feminist geographers have challenged this gender-blindness of conventional epistemology, Indian geographers-conservative in their choice of focus and methodologies-have been reluctant to destabilise the established disciplinary order. Some younger scholars, however, have become increasingly interested in studying gender through a geographical lens, and are using novel and innovative methods that combine quantitative and qualitative analyses, visual sources and in-depth case studies to do so.

This pioneering book brings together the contributions of Indian geographers to understanding gender in India. For geography, it opens a new vista and presents new ways of doing research in gender geography and in so doing enriches both the disciplines of geography and gender/women's studies in India at large. For the Indian social sciences, it reclaims the explanatory power of space and place that had been nearly lost in the wake of deconstruction-oriented postmodernist social theory.

The edited volume foregrounds the production of knowledge as contextualised process, but also hopes to initiate a dialogue with scholars who are located elsewhere and who are working with feminist methodologies.

About the Editors:

Saraswati Raju is Professor of Social Geography, Centre for the Study of Regional Development (CSRD), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt is Fellow at ANU College of Asia and the Pecific, The Australian National University.

Release of Hindi Translation of "A Spanish Anthology"

The Cervantes Institute in New Delhi, together with Centre of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian & Latin American Studies, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma, Spain and Institute Ramon Llull, Spain came together to launch a Hindi translation of an Anthology of Spanish poets from the Balearic islands of Spain. The book is entitled Poets of the Balearic Islands (Brief Anthology of XX Century) (Balear Dweepon ke Kavi- Beesavin Sadi ka ek Sanchipt Sankalan), published by Northern Book Centre, New Delhi, has been edited by Prof. Ramon Bassa from the University of Islas Baleares, Palma, Spain and the Hindi translation has been done by Dr. Alka Jaspal and Prof. Anil K. Dhingra from the Centre of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian & Latin American Studies. This is the fourth book in the series of publications jointly published as a result of academic collaboration between Jawaharlal Nehru University and the University of Islas Baleares, Spain. The book release was followed by recitation of selected poems from the book in front of an audience which included students, academicians, diplomats and general public. Professor Oscar Pujol, Director of Cervantes Institute introduced the editor and translators to the audience and highlighted important points of academic collaboration between India and Spain and how this is getting a special push with the efforts of Indian Hispanists and Spanish academic and cultural institutions.

Subhas Yadav, Research Scholar,

Centre for Spanish Portuguese Italian and Latin American Studies, SLL&CS

List of Publications

School of Social Sciences

  • Becoming Buddha' (Ed.) Penguin India, New Delhi, 2011 (Jan.) Dr. Renuka Singh, CSSS

  • "The British Empire and the Natural world: Environmental Encounters in South Asia" Rohan D'Souza with Deepak Kumar & Vinita Damodaran, Oxford University Press, 2010 CSSP

  • "Markets and Malthus: Population Gender, and Health in Neo-Liberal Times", Sage, New Delhi 2010, Mohan Rao, CSMCH and Sarah Sexton (eds)

  • "Health and Sexuality among Youth in the Philippines- Some Issues and Concerns". VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Akbiengesellschaft & Co. Saarbruken, Germany, 2010, Sanghmitra S. Acharya, CSMCH

School of Environmental Sciences

  • "Sun-Earth-Cosmic connection" Academic Publishing Germany, Saumitra Mukherjee, 2011.

Our Scholars

List of scholars who have been awarded the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D). The name of the scholar is followed by the title of the thesis/dissertation and the name of the supervisor.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D)

School of Life Sciences

Mr. Manoj Kumar Jaiswal “Modulation of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep By Endobains and Hypothalamic Regulation of Some Acute Phase Response Parameters Induced By REM Sleep Deprivation in Rats”, Prof. B.N. Mallick; & Prof. C.K. Mukhopadhyaya.

Mr. Raman Manoharlal “Differential Regulation of Multidrug Resistance Gene(s) in the Clinical Isolates of Pathogenic Yeast Candida Albicans”, Prof. Rajendra Prasad

School of Environmental Sciences

Ms. Anindaya Roy Chowdhury “Regulation of Oxidant Induced Programmed Cell Death By Overexpression of Hyaluronan Binding Protein 1 (HABP1) in Fibroblast Cells”, Prof. Kasturi Datta; & Dr. Ilora Ghosh (Co-Supervisor)

Mr. Sandeep Gupta “A Comparative Study of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Heavy Metals in Indoor and Outdoor Environments of Delhi”, Prof. V.K. Jain

School of International Studies

Centre for East Asian Studies

Mr. Netajee Abhinandan “China's Adaptation to Global Regimes in the Post-Cold War Period: A Study of its Participation in the UN, the WTO and the Arms Control Regime”, Dr. D. Varaprasad Sekhar

Mr. Mahendra Prakash “Coalition Governments and Political Reforms in Japan Since 1990”, Dr. H. S. Prabhakar

Centre for West Asian and African Studies

Mr. Sebastian N “Globalisation and Social Development; A Comparative Study of Egypt and India, 1991-2001”, Prof. P.C. Jain

Mr. Imkongmeren “Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking During the AL-AQSA Intifada: The Role of the United States (2000-2004)”, Prof. Gulshan Dietl

Centre for Canadian, US and Latin American Studies

Mr. Venkataramani R.V “Political Role of Trade Unions in the US and India: A Comparative Study, 1947-1980”, Dr. K.P. Vijaya Lakshmi

Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies

Mr. Fakir Mohan Muduli “Evolution of Ukraine's Foreign Policy, 1994-2004”, Dr. Arun Mohanty

Mr. Vijay Kumar Bhatia “Problem of Democratic Transition and Human Rights in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, 1991-2004”, Dr. Phool Badan

Centre for South Central South East Asian and South West Pacific Studies

Mr. Prasanta Sahoo “Indo-Bangladesh Land Border Management: Challenges Before India's National Security”, Dr. Sanjay K. Bhardwaj.

Ms. Nisha Taneja “Trade and Transport Facilitation in South Asia: A Case Study of India's Trade With Pakistan”, Prof. Indira Nath Mukherji

Mr. Deepender Kumar “Coping with Climate Change: A Comparative Study of Bangladesh and India”, Prof. I.N. Mukherjee

Centre for International Legal Studies

Mr. Rajesh Babu Ravindran “Remedies Under the World Trade Organization Legal System; A Study”, Prof. B.S. Chimni

School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies

Centre for English Studies

Mr. Rajesh Kumar “Dalit Writing and Aboriginal Writing: Convergences & Divergences”, Prof. S.K. Sareen.

Centre for Linguistics

Mr. David Ogoti Ongarora “Bantu Morphosyntax: A Study of Ekegusii”, Dr. Ayesha Kidwai

Centre for Persian & Central Asian Studies

Md. Shamim Alam “A Comparative Study of Khair-u' l Majalis and Ahsan-u' l-Aqwal”, Prof. Akhtar Mahdi.

Centre of Indian Languages

Mr. Niranjan Dev Sharma “Krishna Sobti Ka Katha Sahitya: Bhasha, Shilp Aur Samvedna”, Prof. Vir Bharat Talwar

School of Social Sciences

Centre for Economic Studies and Planning

Mr. Arindam Banerjee “Trends in the Growth of Capitalist Relations and Investment in Indian Agriculture (1970 to the present)”, Prof. Utsa Patnaik.

Mr. Uma Shankar Prasad “Impact of the New Economic Policies on the Fiscal Sector and its Implications for Poverty Reduction in Nepal”, Prof. Arun Kumar.

Centre for the Study of Regional Development

Ms. Nivedita Hansraj “Migration to Urban Punjab: The Case of Ludhiana Metropolis”, Prof. Sudesh Nangia

Mr. Bibhu Prasad Nayak “Institutional Structure, Collective Action and Natural Resource Management: A Case of Participatory Forest Management in Orissa”, Prof. R.K. Sharma & Kanchan Chopra

Centre for Historical Studies

Ms. Alka francisca Michael “Environment and History: A Study of the Interface of Ecology and Culture in the Brahmaputra Valley During the Pre-Ahom Peiod”, Prof. H.P. Ray

Ms. Shivani Agarwal “The Archaeology of Mathura: Regional Complexities and Diversities (300 BC-AD 300)”, Prof. H.P. Ray

Centre for the Study of Social Systems

Ms. Saswati Bhattacharya “Murtikaras (Idol-Makers) of Bengal: A Sociological Study of Their Craft Occupational Mobility and Market”, Prof. Susan Visvanathan.

Mr. Om Prakash Mishra “Social Structure and Violence: A Case Study of Growth and Crime in Delhi”, Prof. Anand Kumar; & Prof. Yogendra Singh.

Mr. Haresh Narayan Pandey “Globalisation and Identity Formation: A Comparative Study of a Village and A Town in Muzaffarnagar District, Uttar Pradesh”, Prof. Anand Kumar.

Mr. Santosh Kumar Singh “Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Agribusiness Practices in Selected Villages of the Terai Region of Uttarakhand”, Prof. M. N. Panini.

Ms. Prabha Devi Kaini “Women and Public Policy: Evaluating Programmes of Micro-Credit and Political Quotas in Nepal”, Prof. Dipankar Gupta

Mr. Birendra Suna “Alternative Credit Institutions and Poverty Alleviation: A Study of Self-Help Groups in Nabarangapur District, Orissa”, Prof. M.N. Panini

Ms. Uma Uttam “Child Labour in the Brick Kiln Industries: A Study of Kanpur Nagar District (U.P)”, Prof. Anand Kumar

Ms. Manjeer Mukherjee “Engineering 'Family Values': Assisted Reproductives Technologies and Their Impact on Kinship Relations in West Bengal”, Prof. Dipankar Gupta

Mr. Manish Tiwari ”Water Management Through People's Participation in Rajasthan: A Sociological Study”, Prof. Anand Kumar

Centre for Political Studies

Ms. Neeru Sharma “Identity Formation and Political Mobilization Among Dalits in Punjab: A Comparative Study of Ad-Dharmis and Mazhabhis in Jallandhar and Amritsar Districts”, Dr. Asha Sarangi.

Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health

Mr. Rose Nembiakkim “Reproductive and Sexual Behaviour of Female Adolescent in Churachandpur, Manipur”, Dr. Sanghmitra Acharya.

Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies

Mr. Nameirakpam Samungou Singh “Education, Culture and Health Practices: Socialisation and AIDS Awareness Among Students in Manipur”, Dr. S. Srinivasa Rao

Mr. Shiju Sam Varughese “Constructing A Scientific Public Sphere: A Study of Contemporary Public Debates on Science in the Malayalam Press”, Prof. Dhruv Raina

School of Arts & Aesthetics

Ms. Sung Min Kim “Relationship between Form and Formlessness in Mandalas: Interpreting the Aesthetic Power of Buddhist Mandalas on the basis of the Philosophy of Vak in Trika Saivism”, Dr. H.S. Shiva Prakash

Special Centre for Molecular Medicine

Mr. Nagendra Kumar Chaturvedi “Modulation of androgen receptor function by endocrine disruptors”, Dr. Rakesh K. Tyagi

School of Computer & Systems Sciences

Mr. Lutfi Mohammed Omer Khanbary “Design and Analysis of Resource Allocation Models in Mobile Computing”, Dr. D.P. Vidyarthi

School of Biotechnology

Mr. Sujeet Kumar “Effect of Polar Aprotic Solvents on the Structure and Dynamics of Proteins: A Case Study of Xylanase in DMSO-Water Mixtures”, Dr. Devapriya Choudhury; & Prof. K.J. Mukherjee (Co-Supervisor)

Centre for the Study of Law and Governance

Ms. Rajshree Chandra Ahuja “Intellectual Property Rights and the Politics of Knowledge: Questions of Knowledge, Property and Rights”, Prof. Niraja Gopal Jayal

Mr. Bikash Das “Jusvenile Justice, Child Rights and the State in India”, Prof. Amita Singh

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi

Mr. Nguyen Van Khiem “High Level Tissue Specific Expression of Transgenes for Rice Improvement (Oryza Sativa L)”, Dr. V. Siva Reddy

Mr. Prakash Chandra Mishra “Identification and Characterization of Box C/D Small Nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) in Malaria Parasites”, Dr. Amit Sharma

Mr. Kalyan Kumar Pasumarthy “Mechanism of Rolling Circle Replication in Geminivirus: Role of Replication Enhancer REn/AC3/C3”, Dr. Nirupam Roy Choudhury

Mr. Sheikh Mohd. Talha "Novel Recombinant Multiepitope Proteins and Assay Concepts for Viral Infections", Dr. Navin Khanna

National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi

Mr. Satish Khurana “Role of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Generation and Regeneration of Liver”, Dr. Asok Mukhopadhyay

Ms. Harshita Bhatnagar “Auto-Antigenicity of Hemoglobin: Antigenic, Biological and Genetic Analysis”, Dr. Rahul Pal

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

Ms. Shweta Dwivedi “Structural and Functional Analysis of A Unique Editing Domain of Threony1-tRNA Synthetase from An Archaea”, Dr. R. Sankaranarayanan

Mr. Jose Sebastian “Candidate Gene Approaches to Study Genes Affecting Meiotic Chromosome Organization in Arabidopsis Thaliana” Dr. Imran Siddiqi

Ms. N. Usha “Genetic and Molecular Characterization of A Novel Target of Homeotic Gene Function in Drosophila”, Dr. L. S. Shashidhara

Mr. Shoeb Ahmad “Structural Studies on Thermostable Variants of Bacillus Subtilis Lipase Evolved By in Vitro Methods”, Dr. N. Madhusudhana Rao

Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh

Mr. Sankalp Gupta “Studies on Regulatory Proteins Relevant to Phosphate Assimilation of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis”, Dr. Dibyendu Sarkar

Mr. Narinder Kumar Sharma “Biodegradation of Nitroaromatic Compounds: Some Biochemical and Physiological Studies”, Dr. R.K. Jain

Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow

Mr. Mirza Saqib Baig “Identification and Characterization of Stage Specific Gene (s) in Amastigote Form of Leishmania Donovani Through Microarray”, Dr. Neena Goyal

Ms. Deepti Verma “2-Pyranones-derived Arenes and Heteroarenes As Biodynamic Agents”, Dr. Atul Goel

Mr. Awadh Bihari Yadav “Transcriptional Analysis of Macrophage Response to Tuberculosis Infection on Treatment with Biodegradable Microparticles Containing Anti-TB Drugs”, Dr. Amit Mistra

National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi

Ms. Deepti Jain “Transcripts Profiling of a Drought Tolerant Chickpea (Carietinum) Cultivator Under Drought”, Dr. Debasis Chattopadhyay

Ms. Shalu Choudhary “Marker Development and Molecular Mapping in Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L)”, Dr. Sabhyata Bhatia

Mr. Santosh Kumar “Cloning and Characterizations of Gene Encoding Peroxidase from Catharanthus Roseus”, Prof. Alok Krishna Sinha

Ms. Archana Singh “Molecular Analysis of Early-Responsive Genes of Chickpea Inloved in Biotic Strees”, Prof. Praveen K. Verma

Alumni Corner

An interview with Dr. Sumangala Damodaran, Associate Professor, School of Development Studies, Ambedkar University, Delhi

Lakshmi Menon: How did your association with JNU begin?

Sumangala Damodaran: I joined JNU as a student in the MA programme at CESP in 1987. Before that, I had friends in JNU who I used to come to meet, especially at election time. Even back then I was intrigued by the unique atmosphere on campus and the zeal with which the election campaigns and debates took place.

Lakshmi Menon: How different do you find the student-teacher relationship at JNU?

Sumangala Damodaran: It was unusual, especially for us at CESP. We had stalwarts like Krishna Bharadwaj and Prabhat Patnaik and many others who were very established theoreticians with a formidable reputation at a national and international level. The interaction with all of them which was non-hierarchical and democratic was characteristic of larger JNU culture for which both the student and the teaching community worked hard. It is something which JNU possesses uniquely; this freedom with which students can approach their teachers, even visit them in their houses if need be. There are many places where the relationship between student and teacher is a formal one based on drawing distinct lines, but at JNU somehow this has never been the case in any of the schools. There is a distinct blurring of boundaries, may be also because many of the research students here were also teaching elsewhere, so they experienced both how to teach and how to learn, which is a fascinating thing.

Lakshmi Menon: Do you think the time you spent here has affected you in any way? What have you taken back with you from the university?

Sumangala Damodaran: I owe most of the attitude that I have developed towards teaching, towards collective work and a democratic attitude from JNU. The ability to be open in academic attitudes while being rigorous and more than anything else, a democratic ethos which is highly special. Like I said, the student-teacher relationship was always a unique one. There is no sense of creating a hierarchy and forcing everyone to conform to that particular power structure. And if there is anything about JNU it is the spirit of democracy that exists at every level of interaction.

Lakshmi Menon: What is your most memorable experience from your time here?

Sumangala Damodaran: Difficult to say, there were many during the five years that I spent on the campus. The unique atmosphere made for many memories so picking out one is hard. The elections were something special though, when the whole campus would come alive with debates and campaigning. The political awareness is something special about JNU.

Lakshmi Menon: What is your message to the current student community?

Sumangala Damodaran: I think JNU is still an unusual place, in comparison to most other universities in the country, including the others in Delhi, and that should be preserved zealously. It is very easy for it to get corrupted if the members of the JNU community don't realise what makes it different from other institutions. The students should be aware of all the opportunities at their disposal and make maximum use for them. The campus is not only a great place to study but also learn valuable life lessons.
: jnunewsarchives
jnunewsarchives -> In conversation with An Interview with Prof. R. Rajaraman, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, School of Physical Sciences Mansi: How and when did your journey with jnu begin? How has your experience been here over these years?
jnunewsarchives -> In conversation with An interview with Prof. Rama Baru, Chairperson, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health. School of Social Sciences
jnunewsarchives -> In conversation with An interview with Prof. S. N. Malakar, Chairperson, Centre for African Studies, sis
jnunewsarchives -> In conversation with An interview with Prof. Sudha Bhattacharya, Dean Wafa
jnunewsarchives -> In conversation with An Interview with Prof. I. S. Thakur, Associate Dean of Students Mansi: When and how did your association with jnu begin? Prof. Thakur
jnunewsarchives -> In conversation with an Interview with Prof. Mridula Mukherjee Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
jnunewsarchives -> In conversation with An Interview with Prof. Deepak Kumar, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies and Chairperson, Media Research Centre, School of Social Sciences

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