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Sedition row fallout? 3,000 fewer aspirants apply to JNU

The month-long application period closed last week and the entrance exams for the courses will be held next month.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2016 08:28 IST
JNU,Sedition charge against Kanhaiya Kumar,JNU row
JNU students celebrating the release of Umar Khalid (C) and Anirban in New Delhi on March 18, 2016. Khalid and Anirban along with JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar have been charged with sedition. (Hindustan Times)

Amid a row over its students being charged with sedition, JNU has received over 76,000 applications for admission to the upcoming academic session for around 2,700 seats in various programmes — 3,000 less than previous year.

The university had got 79,000 applications last year and 72,000 candidates applied in 2014.

With the university being caught up in a controversy over an event against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, concerns were expressed worldwide that the university’s image will suffer a setback because of the row.

Read | JNU row: When dissent becomes sedition, democracy gasps for breath

“The number of applications received are 28 times more than the number of seats. This reflects the kind of competition which exists among admission seekers for the university,” Bhupinder Zutshi, Director Admissions, said.

Read | Beyond Kanhaiya: 10 people involved in the JNU sedition row

Asked about whether the decrease of 3,000 is because of the controversy which hit the university around the same time when the application process was on, the official said, “in the recent years a fluctuation of around 3,000-4,000 applications has been witnessed off and on. The trends of any of the years cannot be attributed to a particular reason”.

According to the data available with the university’s admissions department, 76,091 applications have been received for the 2,700 seats available for undergraduate, master’s and research programmes at JNU. The month-long application period closed last week and the entrance exams for the courses will be held next month.

Read | We need thinking spaces like JNU and the govt must stay out of it

Zutshi, however, clarified that the figures are only for the applications received for the JNU common entrance examination. There are two more application categories — combined entrance programme for bio-technology programme and NET-JRF candidates.

Members of the university’s teachers association argue that the alleged branding of the university as “anti-national” in wake of the sedition row, is a “superfluous” notion which exists only in a section of society and not among admission seekers.

First Published: Mar 31, 2016 08:12 IST