Aspiring journalists in MP get a new varsity campus, and cows too

Milk and curd will go to students living in hostels and the staff living on the campus, says Vice-Chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication

Photo courtesy: MCNU website
Photo courtesy: MCNU website
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NH Web Desk

While the Defence ministry has asked the Army to close down its military farms that house milch cattle, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication, a state university in Madhya Pradesh, is moving to a new 50-acre campus in Bishankhedi, on the outskirts of Bhopal which will be home to many milk-yielding desi cows as well.

The gaushala is not for the familiar purpose of facilitating animal husbandry classes or conducting research but to source quality milk from "Indian-breed cows" and use the dung for growing vegetables for consumption by the inmates, The Telegraph reported.

Quoting Lajpat Ahuja, the university's rector, the report stated that the decision on the new campus and its components was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister and BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan around two years ago.

"There will be a lot of residential quarters and hostels. The gaushala is being created to produce milk for the inmates. The cow dung can be used to generate bio-gas and grow vegetables on a small patch of land," Ahuja told the Telegraph.

"There are many veterinary colleges and universities which have started dairy firms for academic purposes. But I have not heard of any university or college starting a gaushala for milk," Ashok Barman, former general secretary of All India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organisations, was quoted as saying.

Ahuja, according to the report, said that good milk was not available in Bhopal. Besides, the price of milk is high. The university will buy Indian breed cows to keep in the gaushala, he said. Near the gaushala, there will be an open field where vegetables will be grown and a biogas plant set up, the report added.

The university, The Indian Express reported, has been accused of trying to propagate RSS’ ideology in the past. A written exam there a few years ago included questions like ‘who was the founder of Jan Sangh’, ‘who conceptualised integral humanism’ and ‘which political leader was born on December 25’.

“Milk and curd will go to students living in hostels and the staff living on the campus. Also, fuel from a biogas plant will come in handy,” Vice-Chancellor B K Kuthiala told The Indian Express.

An Outlook report adds that the university recently issued a tender asking private companies to help set up the shed. It stated that in March this year, Kuthiala was criticised for replacing a post-graduate course on Nehruvian socialism with one on Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s ideology.

The university currently runs 21 courses on subjects including journalism, communications, management, printing, graphics and multimedia, film production and computer applications. While the current student strength is about 1,600, The Indian Express reported that it would go up to about 3,000 once they move to the new campus.

Earlier last month, the Defence ministry had asked the Army to "take steps" to close within three months the military farms that house milch cattle and provide milk and dairy products to the armed forces personnel.

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