Better to discuss JNU’s research than Army tank issue: Minister

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A Tiranga March was held on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, organised by Vidya Veerta Abhiyan at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi on Saturday. Seen here, vice chancellor of Jawaharlal University, Prof M Jagadesh Kumar (left)  and Army veteran Gen G D Bakshi . The VC has said the university should have an Army tank on campus for display.

Kolkata Union minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey on Tuesday dubbed the controversy over demand to place a decommissioned tank in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) premises as “meaningless”.

“It is better if you discuss the good research works that come out of JNU. These discussions are meaningless,” Pandey told mediapersons here on the sidelines of an Assocham event.

JNU vice chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar had on Monday said that “presence of an Army tank will constantly remind students of the great sacrifice and the valour of Indian Army and defence forces”.

As for the draft National Education Policy, Pandey said it would be released on December 31 this year.

Asked on reports claiming that Dina Nath Batra – the head of the Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, an RSS-affiliated outfit – had recommended removal of Urdu and Arabic words and work of some famous writers like Rabindranath Tagore and Ghalib from the NCERT textbooks, Pandey said there was no such consideration.

“This is wrong information. Tagore is an icon and is India’s pride. There is nothing like this. We respect him a lot.”

On restructuring the University Grants Commission (UGC), he said talks were on.

“For reforming UGC, talks are on. There is no clear plan yet. But we are discussing how to improve the body,” he said.