Jawaharlal Nehru University, popularly known in India as JNU, is a multi-disciplinary, public university founded in 1969. It has since been known as much for its academic excellence as its left-of-centre revolutionaries and politically-charged subculture. Based in New Delhi, the campus of JNU carries the reputation of being one of the safer spaces in the city.
Consistently rated as one of the finest universities in India, the university’s academic offering is organized into ten “schools”—from Arts and Aesthetics to International Relations, and, among others, Life Sciences to Language, Literature and Culture Studies – the latter being its only undergraduate degree. Each of these schools house several specialized “centres,” to which certain fields of research and study are allotted, such as nano-sciences, Sanskrit, and molecular medicine. Many of these centres have their own dedicated libraries, which function alongside JNU’s central library that offers a wide collection of books and access to international journals.
Dotted by student hostels, the university’s campus has a rather vibrant social life centred around its many canteens. Post-sundown, students are seen walking or running by its several canopied avenues, while its open-air watering holes come alive. Since JNU’s culture shuns glamour and consumerism, “nightlife” often connotes fierce ideological debates and lively discussions over endless cups of chai and samosa, cultural performances and festivals, or public talks by intellectuals and activists. While the campus has a bank, convenience stores, printing shops, gym besides other sports facilities etc., it is also well-connected with other parts of the city through public transport.
JNU is located on the rocky Aravalli hills and within a forest spread over 1,019 acres that is home to the Nilgai, the largest Asian antelope, besides civets, porcupines, peacocks, among other birds, that roost in this birdwatcher’s paradise.