JNU gets funding of ₹455 crore for new buildings, e-learningUpdated: Aug 04, 2020 23:12 IST
The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday said it had received a funding of ₹455.02 crore for the construction of new academic buildings, hostels, and research centres, among others, under the Union ministry of human resources development (MHRD)’s higher education funding agency (HEFA).
The HEFA was established in 2017. It offers infrastructure loans to educational institutions which the institutions have to pay back. Previously, institutions were getting government grants for the expansion of infrastructure.
This statement comes two weeks after Hindustan Times reported that the ministry was in favour of approving projects of approximately ₹450 crore in the JNU and these included five new hostel blocks, a building for its management school, another for an advanced animal research facility and an incubation centre.
JNU vice-chancellor N Jagadesh Kumar Wednesday said the funds allotted by HEFA will be used for various projects such as hostels and “academic complex buildings for the School of Engineering, Atal Bihari Vajpayee School of Management & Entrepreneurship, trans disciplinary academic research, advanced animal research facility, advanced instrumentation research facility, incubation centre for start-up companies, special centre for e-learning, lecture hall complex and the setting up of an integrated and unified education system”.
The special centre for e-learning will offer online degree programmes to students who could not be admitted to JNU, registrar Pramod Kumar later said in a statement. “These students can still benefit from the expertise of JNU faculty,” he said.
The JNU teachers’ association (JNUTA), however, opposed the move. “This is a replacement of public funding for infrastructure development with loans, the terms of which cannot possibly be better than grants where no repayment obligation exists. Furthermore, a part of this financing will also be directed towards making JNU the instrument of helping the government shirk its responsibility to invest in making education accessible to all -- by promoting online education and falsely selling the idea that it is a substitute for regular teaching and learning,” JNUTA said.