America is a land of immigrants. The people on whose sufferance the US has been built, i.e., the Native Americans – for example the Huron, Apache, Cherokee, Sioux, Delaware, Algonquin, Choctaw, Mohegan, Iroquois, Oneida, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Tuscarora, and the Inuit people – have all been long racially vanquished, eliminated by use of force. After the Native Americans were wiped out, migrant white Europeans have come to be considered as the default natives because of sheer number and power. All this happened in about 300 years.
Because of all this, US institutions are not built for and by natives (there aren’t any), but for and by immigrants. It’s in the culture of that country to prefer immigrants over natives, to talk only about immigrants.
Therefore, the US doesn’t care who studies or who teaches in its Universities as long as they are qualified enough. US Universities have tended to downplay the “people-angle” and welcomed anybody and everybody from anywhere and everywhere with the right academic background. As long as the territory of the USA gets the benefits of the academic output from the Universities, the US doesn’t “give a damn” about who actually produces that academic output.
The Yash Pal Committee’s definition of a University applies pretty much verbatim to the US (and not to India, as we shall presently see). After all, both the Yash Pal Committee’s report and the US believe that it’s the academic output which matters. Not who produces it. This thinking is illustrated by the Yash Pal Committee which goes to the extent of lamenting that India doesn’t import sufficient number of students from the “southern hemisphere” (called “clientele” by the report):
India is in a unique position to serve as a destination for affordable higher education for a vast number of students from countries in the southern hemisphere. At present, our system manages to attract only a small fraction of this potential clientele.It is disappointing how the Committee is so blindly thinking of building a University system tailor made for “potential clientele” from outside India when most of India is excluded from the system. We will come to how most of India is excluded presently. But before that, a case study of other developed countries [in the next part].
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