After Union HRD Minister clarifying the Centre’s stand on the UGC circular on the Surgical Strike Day, the Jawaharlal Nehru University VC M Jagadesh Kumar said that the varsity will observe it on September 29. “We’ll be celebrating in JNU. JNU is very closely related to the defence forces. When our alumni go and fight for us at the borders, as a University, we must recognise their contribution,” said JNU VC, as reported by news agency ANI. Meanwhile, another central university, Jamia Millia Islamia said it would “finalise the programme on Monday,” according to PTI.
The uproar over UGC’s circular has already started and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said that educational institutions in Bengal will not observe Surgical Strike Day. “The UGC direction to universities to mark September 29 as “Surgical Strike Day” is a part of the BJP’s “political agenda” and educational institutes in West Bengal will not observe the day,” the minister said.
We’ll be celebrating in JNU. JNU is very closely related to the defence forces. When our alumni go & fight for us at the borders, as a University, we must recognise their contribution: M Jagadesh Kumar, JNU VC, on UGC advisory on Sept 29 to be celebrated as ‘Surgical Strike Day’ pic.twitter.com/q11cDR0kUf
— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2018
However, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar squashed the opposition’s charge of politicising the valour of armed forces and said that the circular was only an advisory and not a directive. The minister also clarified that the UGC circular was not meant to force any university to follow the guidelines.
“We never mandate anything, we suggest and issue advisory. There is no politics, it is only patriotism,” Javadekar said. “On 29th September (anniversary of the surgical strike), we have asked colleges, those who want to, can arrange a lecture by ex-army officers who can tell the students how defence forces defend the country and how the surgical strike was conducted,” he said.
Earlier on Thursday, a UGC circular asked universities to observe Septemeber 29 as “Surgical Strike Day” and encourage students to pledge their support for the armed forces. It also directed NCC units of all varsities to hold a special parade to mark the day.