Dissecting the Yash Pal Committee Report - Part II

The Committee’s definition of “University” neglects the "people-angle"

The Committee’s understanding of a University is summarized in the following paragraph in the report:
A University is a place where new ideas germinate, strike roots and grow tall and sturdy. It is a unique space, which covers the entire universe of knowledge. It is a place where creative minds converge, interact with each other and construct visions of new realities. Established notions of truth are challenged in the pursuit of knowledge.
Now, let us clarify again: the above paragraph is correct, but the only problem is – it is incomplete. So incomplete that we are forced to reject the definition as inapplicable as it is.

The above definition is incomplete because it says nothing about the people who live and work in the University – the students, teachers, administrators, and other workers. The above definition lacks the people-angle, if you will. The above definition simply neglects the people in whom “new ideas germinate, strike roots and grow tall and sturdy”. It says nothing about the people whose “creative minds converge, interact with each other and construct visions of new realities”. It says nothing about the people who challenge “established notions of truth”.

Nor is this definition of a University supplemented with the "people-angle" anywhere else in the report.

A University which is spawned from the above philosophy – which so neglects the people-angle – is by definition more devoted to the actual academic output rather than an improvement in the level of learning of, and the level of contribution to the “entire universe of knowledge” of, the people on whose sufferance the University is built, the native people of the soil on which the University’s buildings stand. Such Universities might as well import all the students, teachers, adminsitrators and other workers, pay them sufficiently and get the necessary academic output – the job of the University will be done! The native people don’t need to figure anywhere in the University!

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1 comment:

ರೋಹಿತ್ ಬಾ ರಾ said...

And to add to the problem, our "human" resource minister didn't feel the need to add this people-angle to the proposals made in this report either! What a shame!

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