Dissecting the Yash Pal Committee Report - Part IV

Other developed countries: a case study

While the US is a land of immigrants, most other developed countries in the world are not. Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Norway, United Kingdom, Japan, Israel, South Korea, Taiwan, etc – do not follow the US philosophy of building systems and institutions for immigrants.

Instead, they build systems and institutions for themselves – i.e., for the native people – who are alive and kicking! This is so because there exists a “themselves”! In fact, it is countries from the above list who colonized both America and India in the 1600’s – again from the point of view of bringing back riches for native people.

These countries have long histories of their own races, languages, cultures and political existence (barring a few like Israel which are really new political units), are proud of them, and actually have many checks and balances in place to give preference to natives over immigrants. In these countries, natives have held on for many many centuries and succesfully opposed every sort of external aggression – unlike in the US where the natives were wiped out by Europeans.

These developed countries, therefore, do care about the people who produce the academic output in Universities. They unambiguously prefer those people to be natives, not immigrants. Because of the inherent need to care for the native people, Universities in these countries are also run in the native language because that language is their best vehicle for knowledge. Nobody even questions whether Higher Education is possible in their own languages. “Of course it’s possible!” is the answer one hears in all these countries. These Universities are devoted to improvement in the level of learning of, and the level of contribution to the “entire universe of knowledge” of native people, and at the same time care about the quality and quantity of the actual academic output.

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