No open access to knowledge

The JNU VC administered fund cut to library has not been completely justified by the authorities. What does this say about the future of academia, especially in the country?

January 21, 2019 10:00 am | Updated 10:00 am IST

Nimisha, II, M.A. English, JNU, Delhi

The recent slashing of library funds is among a series of rapid attacks that the university has launched against its students and against the possibility of a quality education in the relatively short time that I have been here. Now, previously available resources for research can only be accessed through stories of a happier past, privatisation is creeping in, and it is impossible to talk about the problems that surround us without exposing ourselves to abuse against JNU. The future looks exclusionary, and completely on the mercy of private capital.

Ayushi Agarwal, Final Year, MBA, BML Munjal University, New Delhi

It is not an easy task to bring down the allocated funds. It is done by reducing the facilities such as cancelling e-subscriptions of journals and not issuing books. Students not getting enough subscriptions and journals will affect the quality of the study material they go through. The student, instead of focusing on studies, will now be worried about the library charges, the opening and closing of the library, reduced accessibility, increase in hostel charges and so on. These problems and increased expenses will affect majorly to the economically challenged students.

Raj Vaidya, I, PGDM Finance, Vesim Business School, Mumbai

As a student, the current scenario I can see is that the number of people reading from books has decreased drastically and the future of the library is an electronic one with colleges providing Kindles rather than books. But here the problem is of sheer negligence in providing students with quality resources, as major funds are being cut from library. Mixed culture is what millennials want. It is a confusing psychology for the academic institutions to know, but we need a balance of both and a tie to get out of this confusion, rather than sheer perishing of resources.

Anjali Notandas, I, Journalism and Communications, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana

It seems like the JNU authorities cannot get their priorities right. Cutting off library funding, other than being an obviously ridiculous decision, questions the importance of humanities in academia and the authorities’ views on its future. Do they assume that the task of spreading knowledge with academic books can be done without resources or has its importance suddenly declined so far as to downsize the investment by 80%? While at the same time, the celebrity spiritual gurus are being invited to the university.

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