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JNU gets added representation in Modi govt as Jaishankar joins Sitharaman in CCS

Both Jaishankar, the new foreign minister, and Sitharaman, allocated finance and corporate affairs, have a Masters and an MPhil from JNU.

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New Delhi: The high-profile Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will have two Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) alumni — Nirmala Sitharaman and S. Jaishankar, who were inducted into the Modi cabinet Thursday.

Sitharaman, allocated finance and corporate affairs portfolios Friday, completed her Masters from the Centre of Economic Studies and Planning (CESP) in JNU and an MPhil in International Studies from the same university. She did her graduation from Tamil Nadu.

Jaishankar, who has been given the charge of the Ministry of External Affairs, did his Masters in Political Science, an MPhil in International Relations and a PhD from JNU.

V-C congratulates cabinet alumni

JNU Vice-Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar Thursday took to Twitter to congratulate Sitharaman and Jaishankar on being inducted into the Union cabinet.

“Our alumni continue to bring eminence to JNU through their hard work and commitment to our country. Congratulations to Smt. N. Sitharaman and Shri S. Jaishankar for being part of New Union Cabinet,” he had tweeted.

Jaishankar is known for his proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sitharaman was sworn in for a second term as Union minister and had held charge of the defence ministry in Modi’s previous term. She is the first woman to be appointed as a full-time defence minister and was given the charge in 2017.

She is now the first full-time woman finance minister.

A university under fire 

The university had ranked second in the Indian Rankings 2019 under the human resource development (HRD) ministry but has been mired in controversies in the past few years. Sitharaman herself had slammed the student union of 2018 under the Left as being “anti-India”.

“I feel sad for so many things which are happening there. Election time arguments and, you know, disputes are normal, but the kind of things which have happened in the last few years are not really encouraging at all,” she said at a press conference. “It’s very different to have a party whose ideology you may not agree with, but the way in which they have probably got led by forces which are anti-India – when I say anti-India definitely stated position – they are waging a war against India as their pamphlet, their brochures say that.”

Earlier, the Delhi Police had filed a chargesheet at a city court against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others, stating he led a procession and supported seditious slogans raised on the university campus in February 2016.

Former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were also charged for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event on the university’s campus on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Parliament-attack mastermind Afzal Guru.

In 2016, BJP president Amit Shah had come down heavily on the then Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his support to an “anti-national movement” allegedly backed by some student’s union.

“I wonder whether he (Gandhi) wanted another division of India,” he said at the BJP headquarters on 15 February 2016.

Also read: Nirmala Sitharaman is India’s first woman FinMin but has little time to rest on that laurel

  • The copy has been updated to note that Jaishankar also had a PhD from JNU.

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