The state-run Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication is going to build cowsheds on two acres of its land, to provide ‘fresh milk’ to students and staff.
New Delhi: The 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. And along with journalism students, this new campus will house some unlikely guests – cows.
According to an Indian Express report, of the 50-acre campus, two acres are too low lying for construction to be possible. The university administration, this report says, wants to use this land to build a cowshed. “We don’t have the expertise to run a gaushala. Whoever runs it will decide on the number of cows and where to source them,’’ vice chancellor B.K. Kuthiala told the Indian Express. According to Outlook, the university recently issued a tender asking private companies to help set up the shed.
The cows are not meant to be part of the educational experience – no courses will be started on animal husbandry or anything of the kind. “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,” the vice chancellor said.
According to Kuthiala, linking this decision to the RSS and their cow-protection drive would be a mistake. “I am aware that people will find an RSS connection to the proposal but that’s not true. The suggestion came from the architect and the university cleared the proposal in 2013 itself,” he told the newspaper. Ancient learning centres like Nalanda and Takshashila were self-sufficient, he added, and that was the model being followed.
A student at the university, unimpressed by the move, told Outlook, “It is a shame that when the university has no good books in the library, good camera equipment in studios or good computers, it is planning to set up a cowshed.”
The university, Indian Express reported, has been accused of trying to propagate the RSS’s ideology before. 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’. The Outlook report adds 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.
“Vice chancellor B.K. Kuthiala is an RSS man and everybody is aware of. This is an education institution and not a cow milk farm. The decision to set up a cowshed on the university campus is an attempt to cover up his failures…The move shows how he promotes the BJP and its policies,” Outlook quoted Pankaj Chaturvedi, Congress spokesperson in MP, as saying.
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, Indian Express reported, it is likely to go up to about 3,000 once they move to the new campus.