Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Students Protesting and trying to break police barriers.

Why are the students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) protesting? Valid question. I will not attempt a political commentary that mainstream media is already immersed into. A more critical question is to explore this – why do students get so much time & energy to protest on matters that do not impact them in any way ?

My last article on JNU tried to connect dots on the overall lack of accountability of students to their own careers, a general mis-direction of energy, absence of realism on current economic issues & the low fee structure that creates total absence of urgency to do anything productive for the society.

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) protests provoked me to explore the same for the university, with almost similar results. Probably worse. Let’s see the facts & you can decide.

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Students Protesting and trying to break police barriers.
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Students Protesting and trying to break police barriers.

Basics first

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) has about 18500 students in college level courses. Here is the breakup. Notice the 2003 students under PhD. This is almost 50% of the overall PG course strength. This is dis proportionally high for any university. This is supported by a teaching faculty of 729.

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Number of students admitted Program wise.
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Number of students admitted Program wise.

With a reputation of a premier varsity amongst the minorities (Muslims), it should attract the best & the brightest I assume. The results however indicate a different story.. 76% pass % amongst men & 62% pass % for women is shocking. See the pass percentage below

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Gender wise Appeared/Passed percentage.
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Gender wise Appeared/Passed percentage.

This for a “premier” varsity is hardly anything to speak of. But thought I may be misreading the data. So tried to uncover more info on how this looks subject wise. As usual, the rot lies in the humanities & social sciences. See below that the pass % of regular students in humanities is less than 50% in some cases.

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Annual/Semester Examination Result 2017
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Annual/Semester Examination Result 2017

So how are our PhD scholars doing ? 

Protests aside, the results speak louder than words.

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): No. of Ph.D. Students Registered/Awarded Gender wise (2003/263)
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): No. of Ph.D. Students Registered/Awarded Gender wise (2003/263)

Did I get this right ? So with this rate, an average PhD student takes 7.6 years to complete the doctoral research !! With a limited experience I have about education, 7.6 years for a PhD is obscene. More so in a poor country like ours. Are they doing some special research ? Let’s explore.

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Number of Publications
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Number of Publications

We see a total of 921 publications from the campus in 2017-18. With a faculty count of 729 & 2000 doctoral scholars, this is a 0.33 papers per person for faculty & PhDs combined. How about a national protest for this ?

Now the output can’t be looked at without the cost that goes in. Brings us to the Income statement of the varsity. Notice the grants & subsidies by the government here. With a total spends of Rs 599 crore, JMI spends Rs 3.23 lac per student annually. Can we afford such a waste of resources ? On a 60 – 72% pass percentage?

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Income and Expenditure Account for Year ended 31-March 2018
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI): Income and Expenditure Account for Year ended 31-March 2018

This is not all. Here is the data about collaborative research papers published by JMI. I noticed something interesting. Majority of the papers have been published in collaboration with varsities of Saudi Arabia !!

Country wide collaborative papers (5 or more publications)
Country wide collaborative papers (5 or more publications)

I’m not surprised. In the name of “international” students, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) varsity majorly has 161 students from Afghanistan, 25 from Iran, 10 from Palestine & rest in low single digits (except Nepal). Does education mean embracing a global outlook or is about just confining to a particular school of thought ?

Finally, the protest that is making news.

With pass % of ~70% & 2000 PhD scholars taking 7.6 yrs for research, I see that there is ample time to protest on “national issues”. Education & outcomes can wait, so can the enlightenment that comes with the right education. I doubt how many have even read what the CAB Bill contains, let alone understand it.

We covered about Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 in details in our previous article The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB): India Gives Citizenship To Persecuted Hindus, Christians In 3 Islamic Nations

If this is being fed in the name of education, I protest !!

Meanwhile, there is a debate on who started the violence in campus & whether the police acted out of their remit in controlling it. I saw an interesting info in the JMI report. The campus has 217 CCTV cameras across campus, with locations as below. The below table indicates that cameras cover everything that there is to monitor at the varsity. So why the fuss about how & who started the violence.

Campus has 217 CCTV cameras across campus, with locations
Campus has 217 CCTV cameras across campus, with locations

Let’s see if the 217 CCTV cameras can solve the puzzle of who started the violence. Waiting. Can we stop the politics & have the CCTV footage please ?

About the Author: Anurag is a value investor & personal finance mentor. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow.

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