JNU has been in the eye of a storm lately — after its students protested and held Delhi hostage following a fee hike, questions were raised about the subsidies that the Indian taxpayer provides to the university. India’s taxpayers contribute nearly Rs. 300 crore a year towards the running of JNU, which pays for 96 percent of the university’s expenses. JNU’s supporters,however, argue that this money is spent towards producing “valuable research”.
It might be debatable how valuable much of this research really is.
We went through the research work that JNU students have put out over the years. These students spend considerable time on these projects — PhD researches can take anywhere between three and five years, and students during this period receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 28,000 from the government. Apart from the stipend, they also enjoy subsidized accommodation on campus which costs as little as Rs 10 per month. With these freebies from the ordinary Indian, this is the research that these students dished out.
1.‘Rethinking Gujarati Identity through the Image of Savita Bhabhi’
Though not technically a PhD thesis, this research paper claimed to “juxtapose Savita Bhabhi with other cultural products of contemporary times and tries to conceptualize the multifaceted image of the porn comic with various other popular media ” Savita Bhabhi might have been India’s best-loved porno, but one wonders if that justifies a researcher going through it for an extended period in the name of “valuable research.”
2. Sexual and gender relations in Mughal India
It’s not as though JNU’s scholars only study the sexual habits of contemporary India. They also go back — often way, way back. This PhD thesis aims to study the sexual and gender relations in Mughal India. While the sexual lives of the Mughals might have been colourful, it’s still debatable if we should be subsidizing this research in a country where millions still go to bed hungry.
3. Knowledge, attitude practices and sexual behaviour of urban educated youth: A Study of Kolkata
And if you don’t want to study pop-culture, or ancient history, but basically catalog a promiscuous summer you spent in West Bengal (and get the Indian taxpayer to pay for it), you can do a PhD thesis on the sexual behaviour of the “urban educated youth of Kolkata.”
4. Dress, fashion and femininity: A case study of fashion models, fashion designers, and women students
And while staying in a government-subsidized hostel at JNU, if you’d like to spend some time sampling Delhi’s famous clothing markets, you can take several years to study “fashion in Delhi metropolis.”
5. Consumerism and consumption: A study of markets in Delhi and Gurgaon
If you’d like to diversify your shopping, you can include neighbouring Gurgaon as well when you study “Consumerism and consumption: A study of markets in Delhi and Gurgaon.”
6. Leisure-time activities of college students of Delhi: A Sociological study
And if you’re loath to even leave your Rs. 10 per month hostel, you can do an entire PhD thesis while still in it. Someone in 1983 spent years studying the “leisure activities” of Delhi students, which was presumably a detailed account of the time they spent partying on the JNU campus.
7. Sexual behaviour of adolescents among the Akamba people of Machkos district, Kenya
But you can’t accuse the JNU of being too inward looking — they also do go out of their comfort zone to do their research. Someone in 2008 produced a PhD thesis on the sexual behaviour of adolescents among the Akamba people of Machkos district in Kenya. While the pickup lines that Akamba teenagers use are presumably fascinating, one wonders how the Indian taxpayer benefits from this “research”.
8. The Process of Decolonisation and Social transformation in South Africa
Africa is a region that also caught the fancy of JNU’s most famous export. Between politics, protests, and raising anti-India slogans, Kanhaiya Kumar managed to study the “The Process of Decolonisation and Social transformation in South Africa” during his time at JNU.
9. The reproduction of Islamic education: A study of two Madrasas of Mubarakpur, Uttar Pradesh
If you aren’t being fed enough Islamist propaganda at JNU, you can move to Uttar Pradesh and spend several years studying two madrasas, all funded by the Indian taxpayer.
10. A comparative study between Indian and Japanese prostitution
And the money shot? Someone in 2008 did a whole PhD thesis comparing prostitution in India and Japan. This thesis topic raises several questions: what promoted someone to spend several years of their life studying the differences between Indian and Japanese prostitution? Did the study involve any primary research? And perhaps more importantly, why did the Indian taxpayer pay for it?