Nationalism by order was the outcome when the Vice-Chancellors of 42 Central universities agreed to fly the national flag on their buildings to counter the rising tide of what they perceived as anti-nationalism sweeping the campuses.
The proposal of the Vice-Chancellors, who met in Surajkund, Haryana on Thursday, had the endorsement of the Ministry for Human Resource Development.
They said it was the outcome of an informal discussion with HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who chaired the conference. The Vice-Chancellors of Jadavpur University, and Jawaharlal Nehru University — now witnessing protests against the arrest and assault of JNU students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar — were among those present in the meeting called by the Ministry.
Confusion prevailed over the dimensions of the flag. The Vice-Chancellors said details are to be worked out. It is learnt the tri-colour will fly on 207-ft. high masts.
Unfurling tricolour will instil nationalism: VCs
The decision to unfurl the national flag at central universities taken at a meeting of Vice-Chancellors in Surajkand, Haryana on Thursday comes as a surprise as some of the central universities, already have the tricolour flying from their buildings. Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor Jagadeesh Kumar reportedly pointed this out. “JNU already has a flag flying in the administrative block.”
Union Minister Smriti Irani has faced criticism for her comments on the February 9 incident on the JNU campus where students had allegedly raised anti-India slogans, leading to an arrest and suspension of eight students. Acting VC of Hyderabad University, which was in the news for the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula, M. Periasamy said: “It [flying the tricolour] was the outcome of an informal resolution stemming from a concern for the reasons for which the JNU campus was in the news.”
“Most of us present felt the flag was a good way of instilling the spirit of nationalism. Hyderabad University already has a flag flying on its administrative building,” Mr. Periasamy said.
The Flag Code of India, 2002, provides the specifications of the national flag, and when it is to be flown on public buildings.
The meeting was called to discuss the issues of discrimination on campuses and the setting up of an ombudsman to look into specific complaints, some of the VCs present in the meeting said.
Some of the resolutions passed addressed optimising academic output of the student community through an active monitoring system and transparent proactive mechanism for grievance redress of the varsity community.