JNU’s Executive Council reportedly approves counter-terrorism course

Jawaharlal Nehru University’s executive council, on September 2, 2021, reportedly approved the counter-terrorism course that allegedly links Islam with communist terror

(Photo Courtesy: Social Media)
(Photo Courtesy: Social Media)

NH Web Desk

Jawaharlal Nehru University’s highest statutory decision-making body, the executive council, on September 2, 2021, reportedly approved the counter-terrorism course that allegedly links Islam with communist terror, after it had been approved by the academic council on August 17 without discussion. The course does not address terrorism by members of other religions or groups.

The announcement from the EC and the minutes of the meeting are likely to be released only in a couple of days, said sources. The approval of this course was one of the fifty items on the executive council’s agenda on Thursday.

The course innocuously titled ‘Counter Terrorism, Asymmetric Conflicts and Strategies for Cooperation among Major Powers’ reinforces the idea that ‘Jihadi terrorism’ is the only form of “fundamentalist-religious terrorism”, and that the former Soviet Union and communist China were the “predominant state-sponsors of terrorism” that influenced “radical Islamic states”.

According to reports, Session III of the course content, “Fundamentalist-religious terrorism and its impact”, says an incorrect and “perverse interpretation of the Quran has resulted in the rapid proliferation of a jihadi cultist violence that glorifies death by terror in suicidal and homicidal variants”. “The exploitation of the cyberspace by the radical Islamic religious clerics has resulted in the electronic propagation of jihadi terrorism world over.”

The optional and inter-disciplinary course, “Counter-terrorism, asymmetric conflicts and strategies for cooperation among major powers”, will be offered at the new School of Engineering to Master of Science dual-degree students who choose to study international relations. It will not be taught at JNU’s School of International Studies (SIS).

The practice has been to include new courses after several rounds of discussion, but the proposal to include the counter-terrorism course was passed on August 17 without discussion. This has become the norm under current vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar.

As per the JNU Act, for the introduction of the course in the University, the Centre forwards the suggested course to the respective Board of Studies (BOS), which then discusses and accepts or rejects it. If accepted, it goes to Academic Council, where the introduction of the course is deliberated again. If approved, then the ratification of the course by the executive council is only a formality.

At both the BOS and Academic Council, student representatives are members, but the JNU VC didn't include student representatives in discussions despite court order and JNU statute too.

In 2018, the Delhi Minorities Commission had sent a notice to JNU after “Islamic terrorism” was declared an area of study at the Special Centre for National Security Studies. The varsity later dropped the proposal.

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