Jamia names department after Arjun Singh

By Prashant K. Nanda, IANS

New Delhi : After a yearlong uproar over reservation for OBCs, shelving of the education bill and a cold war with prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh finally has a reason to smile – a leading varsity here has named a department after him.

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Jamia Milia Islamia has named its Centre for Distance and Open Learning after the minister. Besides, a road inside the campus would bear Singh's name.

"The university has renamed the centre as Arjun Singh Centre for Distance and Open Learning. A new building dedicated to the centre would open on May 4," Rakshanda Jalil, chief media coordinator of Jamia, told IANS.

"Earlier we had a space crunch and the centre was running from just two rooms. With aid from the University Grants Commission (UGC), a three-storeyed building has come up in our campus. UGC chairman S.K. Thorat will inaugurate the Arjun Singh Centre for Distance and Open Learning Friday," Jalil said.

K. Akhtar, a consultant at the centre, said the department currently offers nearly 50 courses like Bachelors in Education (B Ed), Diploma in Power Generation Engineering, Diploma in Management and Practice of Early Child Care and Bachelors in Commerce (B Com).

Over 3,000 students from several parts of the country have enrolled at the centre.

The building, which will now hold Singh's name in bold letters, was constructed with an investment of Rs.23.5 million.

The university is also naming a road in the campus Shahrah-I-Arjun Singh. The road leading to the Mujeeb Bagh Teachers' Housing Complex will be inaugurated Friday by M. Rais Khan, president of Jamia Teachers' Association.

On the same day, the HRD minister will inaugurate another three-storeyed building named after linguistics exponent Naom Chomski. The complex will house the Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, the Munshi Premchand Archives and Literary Centre, and the International Boys' Hostel.