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Haryana varsity seeks old Indian Air Force jet at campus to ‘inspire’ students

The Central University of Haryana (CUH) has written to the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry seeking a decommissioned Indian Air Force (IAF) jet for display on the campus to inspire students to join the defence forces, according to officials aware of the development.

The officials said that the IAF asked the CUH, which is located in Haryana’s Mahendragarh district, to approach it through the HRD ministry with the request when the varsity wrote to the force seeking a decommissioned plane last month.

“The university has now approached the HRD ministry over the issue,’’ one of the officials cited above said.

CUH vice-chancellor R C Kuhad said that they have sought a vintage aircraft to motivate and attract students at the university, who come from all parts of the country, to join the defence forces. He added that the CUH is also located in an area to which a large number of retired and serving armed forces personnel belong to. “…a visit to the campus will [also] bring back their good memories…,” Kuhad said.

He added that the IAF provides these aircraft free of cost to institutions to inspire young people to join the armed forces.

However, the presence of such aircraft on campuses is rather rare.

Kuhad said that the presence of an IAF plane would also enhance the CUH’s aesthetic appeal, benefit students interested in aero design and also showcase the IAF’s rich and valorous heritage. “We have made the request as we believe the presence of an IAF plane will be beneficial,” said Kuhad.

In 2017, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar sought a decommissioned battle tank for display on the campus and triggered a debate on nationalism. The JNU is yet to get one. “The matter is being looked into,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

Eminent educationist and former UGC member Prof Inder Mohan Kapahy said any step by a university or any institute of higher education and research which takes steps to inspire our educated younger generation to join our defence and security forces is welcome. CU Haryana must be complimented for making such effort.

“Highly educated youth joining defence forces had shown disturbing downward trend in the recent past,” Kapahy said. It is essential that other required steps like introducing academic programs to support defence preparedness are also introduced, he said.

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