New Delhi: While there is a brouhaha over the UGC advisory to universities to celebrate September 29 as the Surgical Strike Day, one national university is jubilating. Speaking to ANI on Friday, JNU VC M Jagadesh Kumar said, “We’ll be celebrating in JNU. JNU is very closely related to the defence forces. When our alumni go and fight for us at the borders, as a university, we must recognise their contribution.”

While directing universities and higher educational institutions across the country to observe September 29 as Surgical Strike Day, the Commission prescribed a set of activities to be undertaken for the celebrations; the activities include talk-sessions by ex-servicemen about sacrifices by the armed forces, special parades, visit exhibitions and send greeting cards to pledge their support for the armed forces.

Meanwhile, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has clarified that the circular was only advisory in nature, not mandatory or imposed. “We have not made any compulsions on institutions or students. We have issued a programme because of suggestions from many students and teachers that they need to commemorate the second anniversary of surgical strike,” the HRD minister said. “We never mandate anything, we suggest and issue advisory. There is no politics, it is only patriotism,” the Union minister added.

Senior Congress leader and MP Kapil Sibal said such moves by the statutory body destroy the independence of the university system. “I do not think since Independence, we have seen UGC giving any kind of directive of this nature to universities. For UGC, to give a directive is destroying the very independence of the university system. The only motive of this directive is to reap political gains,” Sibal said.

On September 29 in 2016, the Indian Army carried out “surgical strikes” on seven terrorist launchpads across the LoC as a response to an attack on its base in Uri earlier that month. The Indian Army had said its special forces inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists waiting there to cross onto the Indian territory.