Selection Engineering: Political Filters in JNU’s Admission Process

Selection Engineering: Political Filters in JNU’s Admission Process

[Warning: What you are about to read is not satire. The questions that appear in this article are taken from actual question papers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Some readers may find the contents of this article disturbing and it may evoke extreme anger at those in charge of the university as well as the politicians of the ruling party for their inaction. Reader discretion is advised.]

How does Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) ensure that it remains an anti-India bastion that churns out graduates who hate India? They do this through a biased selection process and their selection bias ensures that their institutionalized hatred for Indian civilization is sustained.


As part of their selection process, JNU conducts interviews, but these interviews are conducted only for selected streams. Interviews in any field are almost always subjective and offer ample scope for manipulating the admission process. Below is a table from JNU’s website which lists their admission policy to various courses.

The weightage to written and viva voce examination is given as under:

Programme Written Exam. Viva Voce
Part time (COP & Advanced Diploma in Mass Media in Urdu) 70% 30%
B.A. (Hons.) First year 100% No viva
B.A. (Hons.) Second year 70% 30%
M.A./M.Sc./MCA (except Foreign Languages) 100% No viva
M.A. (Foreign Languages) 70% 30%
M.Phil./Ph.D., M.Tech./ Ph.D., Pre-Ph.D./Ph.D., MPH/PH.D. 70% 30%

As can be seen, although there is no interview for admission to the first year of the BA (Hons.) program, they have gatekeepers to let in only selected students into the second year of the same program. JNU also conducts interviews for its M.Phil, PhD and foreign language programs as they are interested in maintaining their monopoly in those areas.

JNU additionally forces candidates who apply for admission to reveal their political positions on various issues. While the questions asked in the interviews are not available in the public realm, the questions in their written tests reveal a lot about the selection process.

For example, JNU has a field called “Discrimination and Exclusion Studies” at their School of Social Sciences. No, this is not where they teach about their own discrimination patterns such as their demand that backward caste people be excluded from the the faculty of their university.

Here is an excerpt from their argument during that controversy:

“…the chief victim will be the disadvantaged sections of Indian society. If JNU declines, the well-to-do will move to foreign and private universities, and the disadvantaged will no longer be able to get world-class education.”

After all, when they do it, it doesn’t count as discrimination or exclusion.

This program exists for a specific purpose which is to attack India and present the political positions of the anti-India forces. The question paper in 2015 for admission to the M.Phil and PhD programs of this field contained the following question which revealed their hand:


The efforts to internationalize the issue of caste-based discrimination… which had received a boost in 2001 at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism… suffered a serious setback at the Durban Review Conference held later… While in 2001, WCAR had discussed caste euphemistically… the Durban Review Conference (DRC) evaded even an allusion to caste.

Discuss the validity of India’s official position that caste discrimination is not at par with racial discrimination.

Notice how the question wants the candidate to oppose the stance of the Indian government and foist the views of the US State Department onto India. The question helpfully informs the student of the answer when it uses words such as ‘received a boost,’ ‘suffered a setback’ and ‘evaded even an allusion.’

Here is another example from the same test paper which one can argue is a harmless one as it merely tests the knowledge of current affairs, but the response to this question can be used to determine the student’s political leanings when it is combined with the response to other questions.

Which of the following States has enactment of local anti-conversion law?

  1. Madhya Pradesh
  2. Orissa
  3. Arunachal Pradesh
  4. All of the above

If the candidate does not answer this question, such a candidate is high risk as he or she could be a supporter of any political party. Watch out for being ambushed in the interview! If the candidate knows the answer to the question but fails to answer any of the questions related to Communist ideology which seem to exist all over their question papers (the names of Amartya Sen and Karl Marx appear with a high frequency), you know for sure the person is not an anti-India candidate.

Here is yet another question that pushes the US State Department’s narrative:

Which of the forms of exclusion most predominantly defines the conflict in North-East, Kashmir and Sri Lanka?

  1. Symbolic
  2. Ethnic
  3. Cultural
  4. Religious

Another loaded question that attacks India and is straight out of the US State Department’s playbook:

“In what ways is social exclusion culturally institutionalized and naturalized in Indian society? Explain this using current intersectionality debates on gender and caste-based exclusion in India.”

Maybe this could be explained using the opposition of JNU’s professors who wanted to institutionalize the exclusion of the members of the backward caste from JNU? Wait, that would of course result in the student failing the test.

We now take a look at the entrance test paper from 2013 for the MA program in History.

In one of their questions, they candidly reveal their views about India.

“Nationalism creates as many problems as it solves.” Discuss.

Here are a few more questions from the same paper that extract the student’s opinions.

Mughal patronage to art and architecture was geared towards projecting a visual language of power. Discuss with examples.

With reference to either Buddhism or Jainism, discuss the extent to which they posed a challenge to Vedic traditions.

How far were the Bhakti Movements used as a vehicle of dissent and protest in medieval India?

What are the ways in which telegraphs, railways and canals reveal the workings of British rule in India?

The answers to these questions which would align with the Communist positions are that Mughal rulers were great people who patronized the arts, Hindu traditions were oppressive and every other tradition in India was some form of dissent against Hindus, and the British barbarism and genocides in India were good because Karl Marx said so in his article in New York Daily Tribune.

“Why do crimes against women persist in the 21st century?”

Perhaps one answer could be that it is due to people like Tarun Tejpal or Hasan Suroor who wrote for The Hindu, the Communist newspaper and who was arrested in London? Or is it because of the Communist Supreme Court judge who had to resign in disgrace after sexually harassing an intern?

The 2014 test paper in the same subject too has some interesting questions.

There is a huge passage which is really a hagiography of Nehru that masquerades as Reading Comprehension. After this hagiography, the test paper moves on and subtly evaluates the student’s opinion on the topic of social engineering.


“Do you agree that the family is the fulcrum of society?”


Every Marxist knows that the party line sees the family structure as a hurdle in their pursuit of a Communist society. Students aligned with their views will therefore present negative opinions about the concept of the family. Those who aren’t Communists are unlikely to have this train of thought and the examiners will know to fail them during the interview.

The paper also has some not so subtle stuff in it.

“How are gender relations reflected in the Ramayana and Mahabharata traditions?”

We already know what the JNU professors expect, but JNU would never ask a similarly worded question about the Bible or the Quran. Imagine the furore if a question in a test paper of another university read, “How are gender relations reflected in the Quran and Bible traditions?”

JNU professors would be the ones who generate a huge outcry about intolerance and this would be accompanied by accusations of hatred by Hindus. American professors too would join in as JNU is the university through which they seek to control the academic narrative in India and they would not want to lose ground that they have already gained.

The 2014 entrance test paper for admission to the Sociology program too demands that the student reveal his or her political position on the family.

“Family reproduces inequality.” Elucidate your opinion with special reference to Indian society.

This is a recurring theme. The 2013 test paper for admission to the M.Phil and PhD programs in Sociology too had a similar question.


“What is the role of the family in the reproduction of inequality in India?”


Here is a question on the freedom of speech from the test paper for admission to the M.Phil and PhD programs in Political Studies.

“On what grounds do political theorists defend freedom of speech? When and under what conditions can this freedom be justifiably restricted?”

Here is the “correct” answer: When lies against India and Hindus that were manufactured by the US State Department are spread around in exchange for money received from the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation or Lannan Foundation, political theorists consider it to be freedom of speech.

On the other hand, when Hindus speak the truth about those funded by these foundations, it is intolerance and hate speech and their freedom can be justifiably restricted!

In the 2015 test paper for admission to the MA program in Political Science, immediately following the question on Karl Marx’s view on private property, we have one this one:

“What is the role of extra-parliamentary mobilization in representative democracy? Substantiate your response with two concrete examples of such mobilization.”

For the uninitiated, “extra-parliamentary mobilization” is their code language for a violent revolution. This question gauges the candidate’s support for the violent Naxalites (Maoists, in their latest avatar) who kidnap young children and molest them.

Curiously, it is not just the JNU professors who support the violence by Naxalites. The US State Department too writes “human rights reports” in their favor and JNU professors are once again in alignment with their American masters.

Meanwhile, the test for admission to the program in Science Policy screens applicants based on their knowledge about the foot soldiers of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) when it asks about the “people’s science movement” of the party:

“What is people’s science movement? Analyze the role of leadership and institutions involved in this movement in India.”

If you are left wondering what “Science Policy” is about, it is the field you go into if you are incapable of understanding even middle school level science but get to flaunt your intelligence in Communist circles because you are somehow associated with science.

marxIn other papers, questions related to Karl Marx and his political opinions make a frequent appearance.

Here is an example from the test paper for admission to the MA program in Sociology:

Write short notes on any three of the following.

  1. Social Mobility
  2. Marx’s concept of alienation
  3. Difference between caste and tribe
  4. Human development index

The admission test for the program in Development and Labour Studies is heavy on Karl Marx and also uses phrases such as ‘Surplus Value’ and ‘Reserve Army of Labour’ while a test paper for admission to a program on Social Systems asks:

What is the Marxian notion of ideology? Compare it with Karl Mannheim’s ‘Sociology of Knowledge.’

Everything the JNU professors do is driven by some political agenda. Thus, instead of joining those who seek to find a solution, they even find an opportunity to blame their political opponents for the tragedies such as the suicides of poor farmers.

The 2013 test paper for admission to the M.Phil and PhD programs in Social Systems has the following question:

“Is there a relationship between neo-liberalism and farmers’ suicides in India?”

(FILES) In this picture taken 25 March 1995, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga (L) Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma (C) and Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narashima Rao (R) in New Delhi.   Former Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, who helped transform India's economy in the 1990s, died 23 December 2004, two weeks after suffering a heart attack, the speaker of the national parliament said. The 83-year-old who was hospitalised 08 December 2004, launched India on the path of economic reforms in 1991, having brought in the present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to head the finance ministry.  AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN/FILES

Neo-liberalism is of course their code language for economic liberalization set in motion by PV Narasimha Rao in 1991. The Communist professors also take opposing positions as and when it suits them. They direct their criticism at those who want to create a self-reliant economy but at other times they criticize the erosion of the sovereignty of the State.

Thus we have the following two questions, one from a test for admission to the Science Policy program and another from a test paper for admission to a program in Political Studies.

Do you think that self-reliance is an obsolete policy goal in the era of globalization? Critically discuss.

It has been argued that contemporary economic processes are increasingly eroding the territorial as well as the institutional sovereignty of the State. Substantiate your response to this view by drawing upon recent scholarship.

Make no mistake. These are not questions that test the student’s ability to present arguments on a variety of viewpoints. That would have been a legitimate claim if these test papers contained anything other than the Communist Party’s views.

Every question is based on the party line and it so happens that the Communist parties criticize the proponents of globalization while also attacking certain non-Communist critics who seek a self-reliant economy. It is these positions that are reflected in the two questions.

No reputed university will ask a student to reveal his or her political position before offering admission, yet that is exactly what JNU does. Here is one more example from their test for admission to the M.Phil program in Law and Governance.

The idea of a secular State is enshrined in the Constitution of India and yet the meaning of secularism remains deeply contested. Take two examples of such contestations and suggest ways ahead.”

Not only does this question ask for the candidate’s political position, it actually asks the candidate’s political position on one of the most controversial issues in India and an issue on which the professors judging the students are politically active. Such tactics amount to corruption of the process and the government should put an end to it and punish the guilty.

The faculty members at JNU are confident that they will get away with their shenanigans and view the BJP leaders as weak and ineffective people who look to the Western countries for approval.

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They are so confident that even after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India, the professors took a cheap shot at his political mentor L.K. Advani. In their question paper in 2015 for admission to the first year of the BA program, the first question was:

Who among the following is not a Bharat Ratna?


  • Pandit Ravi Shankar
  • Rajiv Gandhi
  • M. S. Subbulakshmi
  • L. K. Advani


These loaded questions to filter out students from getting admitted to a prominent university that receives government funding is an example of the tyranny of the minority that has the support of only two percent of the Indian population.

The problem at JNU needs to be fixed and the grip of Communists over the university must be destroyed, but this has not happened for multiple reasons.

Ordinary Indians too, are at fault for not making this happen. Instead of taking decisive action, some activists have naively advocated using “facts and logic” to persuade the other side to change their views. They use the term “intellectual kshatriya” to describe those who believe that enemies can be won over through sheer force of argument. The term “intellectual kshatriya” is merely a synonym for “drawing room politicians” and “armchair activists.”

That is not how results are achieved. The swamp must be drained and the toxic sludge that has accumulated over the decades must be dredged out. After that is done, it must be replaced by something clean. The name too must be a clean one. This can only be done under the direction of a person whose career is not at stake. This means no professor or bureaucrat should head such an operation and it must happen under the direction of an activist.

Before embarking on this effort, some steps should be taken immediately. The shallowness of the existing curriculum must be exposed. The standard of foreign language courses must be raised to the level of native speakers in the country of those languages instead of permitting the students to get away with very basic proficiency. Increasing the standard will automatically result in draining some of swamp. No one will be able to oppose this step without objecting to an improvement in the quality of education.

The Act under which JNU was constituted states that the university shall “make special provision for integrated courses in humanities, science and technology.” Therefore, steps must also be taken to compel students to pass advanced courses in mathematics and the sciences.

It is an open secret that Communists are terrified of mathematics and have in recent years foisted humanities subjects on the Indian Institute of Science with the aim of gaining a backdoor entry into the reputed institute. They must be shown that this game can be played both ways.

There should also be an investigation to determine if professors discriminated against students based on political views, and if so, whether the political views of such professors matched the positions of the US State Department.

If such alignment was the result of either direct or indirect payments, severe action must be taken against the erring professors. There is also a strong case for immediately approaching the courts and halting the current round of the admission process as it seems to be a corrupt one.

At the least, the interview process must be done away with and a neutral third party must be entrusted with the job of conducting the entrance tests until the swamp is cleaned up.

In the meantime, those who are interested in viewing various test papers of JNU can do so by clicking here.
FULL DISCLOSURE: The author rejected an offer of admission from JNU during his days as a student.

Arvind Kumar

Arvind Kumar is a writer and an activist who focuses on politics, economy and civilizational issues. He can be reached at arvind at classical-liberal dot net.