Country's central universities are "losing" their autonomy and they have to fight a battle to defend it, a Rajya Sabha member today said. Member of Parliament Tapan Kumar Sen levelled the allegation days after the JNU vice-chancellor had praised the victory of BJP in the Assembly elections. "Universities are becoming a seminal centre of assertions and currently, country's universities are the main target.
They are losing the autonomy they have enjoyed. "When you have the vice-chancellor of the JNU going on Twitter and blog to express his joy on the results of Assembly elections, we need to think," he said. JNU Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar was at the centre of trolls on social media on March 11 over his tweet crediting BJP's victory in Uttar Pradesh to "development" and "inclusivity". Kumar who was associated with Vijana Bharti, an RSS wing involved with Swadeshi Science Movement, before he took over as JNU VC, has often been accused of acting on directions of BJP and for his affiliation with the Sangh. "People of India have once again demonstrated overwhelmingly that we stand for development and inclusivity," he had tweeted. Kumar, also sent the same tweet to few journalists drawing sharp reactions. Sen was speaking at a seminar on rights of working journalists, organised jointly by the Press Club Of India and Kerala Union of Working Journalists at the club's premises here, in the wake of recent retrenchment at few media houses. Noted sociologist Shiv Vishvanathan had earlier proposed that journalists must collaborate with universities, scholars and professionals to set up a "new constituent assembly" towards creating a more vibrant democracy, "Journalists must realise that mere trade union activism won't do when it comes to addressing the issue of working journalists rights. "They must collaborate with universities, experts, scholars and professionals from other fields to build a new kind of wider solidarity, set up a new constituent assembly towards working on rights of journalists in the industry," he said. Sen said, not just universities, everyone concerned must join hands to fight against attack on media and the freedom of the press.
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