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Best Indian university? That 'den of anti-nationals' JNU

File photo of the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Photograph: (Others)

WION New Delhi, India Mar 03, 2017, 12.41 PM (IST)

India's Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has won the annual Visitor's Award for best university in the country.

JNU vice chancellor Jagadesh Kumar will receive the award, which includes a citation and a trophy, from President Pranab Mukherjee at Rasthrapati Bhavan on March 6, PTI reported.

"The winners of Visitor's Award for 'Innovation' and 'Research' will receive a citation and cash award of Rs one lakh. The awards will be presented during a function as part of the 'Festival of Innovations'," a statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's House) said.

"Deepak Pant from Central University of Himachal Pradesh has won the Visitor's Award for 'Innovation' while the Visitor's Award for 'Research' has been jointly won by Shyam Sunder from Banaras Hindu University and Niranjan Karak from Tezpur University," the Rashtrapati Bhavan statement said.

Pant won for his development of a reactor that convers waste plastic to LPG. Sunder will be awarded for his work on the diagnosis and treatment of black fever. Karak is being recognised for his development of polymer nano-composites.

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One of India's top universities, JNU has been in the news recently for very different reasons.

Last February, three of its students were arrested and charged with sedition. Police claimed they had raised anti-national slogans.

JNU therefore, with its liberal bent of mind, has often been derogatorily referred to as a "den of anti-nationals". 

Students have also protested against the university administration for clamping down on their protests, making amendments to the university's admission policy, and their decision to pare MPhil and PhD seats.

President Pranab Mukherjee had announced the institution of the Visitor's Awards in 2014 with the aim of promoting healthy competition among the central universities and to motivate them to adopt best practices from around the world.

(WION with inputs from PTI)

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