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Karnataka Government Petitions Centre to Withdraw ‘Deemed-to-be’ Status of Jain University

Jain University

In a significant turn of events, the state government has told the Union Ministry of Education to take away Jain University’s special ‘Deemed-to-be University’ status. This is because they are worried about clear problems with how the university is being run and managed.

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Jain University, a prominent educational institution in Karnataka, originally known as Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College, achieved the status of a ‘Deemed-to-be University’ in December 2008. 

The recent recommendation by the government stems from an incident involving the university’s Centre for Management Studies students earlier this year. In a ‘Mad Ads’ skit performed by these students, references were made that were seen as disrespectful and offensive towards BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, as well as topics such as untouchability, inequality, caste, and reservation.

The skit went viral, leading to police complaints both in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Subsequently, nine individuals, comprising seven students and two faculty members, were arrested, although they were later released on bail.

 In a recent development, the High Court of Karnataka issued a temporary halt on the legal proceedings against all nine individuals involved. This incident has prompted the state government to recommend revoking the prestigious ‘Deemed-to-be University’ status of Jain University due to concerns over the institution’s management and administration.

Jain University

The state government’s concerns regarding the university’s maladministration and mismanagement have prompted them to take decisive actions,” stated the higher education department in a letter dated August 8 to the Union Ministry of Education. The government has formally requested the ministry to promptly withdraw the notification that granted Jain University its ‘deemed-to-be university’ status.

 In response, a spokesperson for Jain University expressed unawareness of any such communication, stating, “We have not received any notice regarding this matter.” The controversial skit presented by the university’s students triggered social unrest and public sentiments were deeply hurt, as noted by the government. 

Following a thorough investigation prompted by the state government, it was evident from the obtained report that the university’s management was well-informed about the script, content, and dialogues of the skit. Despite this knowledge, the university’s management did not intervene to prevent the performance of the said skit, the letter elaborated.

“Nonetheless, the university’s response involved expelling all students involved in the skit, but these actions were perceived as lacking sincerity. The university’s careless approach merits strong condemnation and necessitates severe consequences,” the letter emphasized.The ‘deemed-to-be’ designation confers upon institutions the academic standing and privileges of a university, affording them the ability to structure their own curriculum and courses. 


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