Home / Education / News /  Education minister Pradhan lauds JNU for counter-terrorism course

New Delhi: Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday lauded the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for starting a course on counter-terrorism, days after the varsity courted controversy over the same.

Addressing central university vice-chancellors, Pradhan said he appreciated JNU and its administration for starting such a course. 

“Top global universities can have discourse and debate on terrorism and counter-terrorism. Why cannot our varsities do the same?" he asked. Pradhan said a fellow parliamentarian had written to him on the JNU issue, but the minister did not say whether the lawmaker, whose name he did not reveal, was in favour of the JNU course or against it.

The JNU academic council on 17 August had approved three new courses -- 'Counter terrorism, asymmetric conflicts and strategies for cooperation among major powers'; 'India's emerging world view in the twenty first century' and 'Significance of science and technology in international relations'.

Some JNU teachers and students had opposed the move alleging that the course allegedly states that 'jihadi terrorism' is the only form of 'fundamentalist-religious terrorism'.

Pradhan said during his interaction with US security experts, he gathered how internet and cyber world will be used increasingly for terrorism activities. “Why cannot our students, engineering students learn this," he said adding that at the end of the day, these students once graduate will deal with similar problem and find solution to such issues.

Pradhan also asked the university vice-chancellors to not ignore Indian languages, and said while learning foreign language is not a problem and in fact will benefit economy, ignoring Indian languages is perhaps not the way forward.

He also asked all varsities to step up and play their role in implementing new education policy and said Delhi University has done well by introducing four-year undergraduate program along with the existing three-year degree courses.

Pradhan’s statements shows that the ministry backs the varsities moves to implement the required changes in sync with NEP recommendations, irrespective of the criticism from sections of the academia.

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