More Indian students still go abroad for higher education
When will the foreign students come to India for education?

How are our freedoms and creative energies threatened? Our universities, seniors and intellectuals are failing the common man.

As I type these lines, I see on the TV screen, scenes of protest by JNU students in Delhi and the police lathi charge in which so many students were wounded and following which the police filed FIRs and there is still a continuing protest and various stake holders taking positions. All are not of course talking objectively, the scenario is highly polarized and it is not clear how the students’ agitation would wind through. Distantly in the far away Hong Kong a much more serious agitation by the citizens had taken to street for a very longer time and there too the agitation for democracy had taken a very highly controversial political and ideological colour.

The Chinese government has just now replaced the long-serving police chief with a new incumbent. Of course the two students’ protests are not in any way comparable and yet, being student protests they impinge upon your imagination in different ways.

Back in Delhi there is one more visual scenario that is about the functioning of our democracy. The two Houses of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabah met on the same day after a long break. The Parliamentary scenes are not better. There were absent chambers this time in a much more accentuated manner and the empty seats and the empty promises as one commentator put it is much more disturbing.

Where is our democracy? Is it functioning? If so in what manner? It was a debate on the much sensitive pollution issue and when the debate on this is highly priority issue, there hon’ble MPs, more so those from the capital, Delhi, were absent. Why even the previous day when the panel of MPs were called to discuss the highly poisonous issue the hon’ble MPs were mostly absent! So too other issues.

A country must have some sense of peace and relaxation and there must be a sense of free atmosphere so that people can have a sense of freedoms and a sense of spiritual comfort and security. What about the other sectors? Unemployment scenario. The education and job creation policies. Who are doing what? No way to find out.

As for youngsters, there are much deeper issues. We need a very enlightened education policy, why even such frontier areas like IT and technology and innovation policies are in doldrums.

The Chennai-based US Consul General notes with certain pride and complacency that Indian students still travel to the USA for their higher education, he cites a 2.9% jump in the number this year as a proof.

While it is also a fact that this year the number has dropped from the previous year. In the USA an unprecedented 10 lakh foreign students are there for education. Why this trend? When do we, as Indians would like to see this trend reversed. May be, next, China might see a rush of foreign students. There the Universities are getting higher ranks in quality. But is there any hope that this would happen in the near future?

Very unlikely. Given the state of universities in recent times, we have to have a brave heart to imagine so. See, where is the education minister? The Governors who are the chancellors of state universities?

The routine norms of appointing, why even searching for talents are bedeviled by so much corruption and poor selection of talents, and the absence of real academic talents on the platforms of convocation addresses, some obscure officials grace the stages everywhere! Degrees are handed out as if it is a mechanical event. All so artificial!

This is no education, please! This is a sort of politics of knowledge! The less said the better! Please let us learn to respect real talents. Politics is not everything. It doesn’t justify power as such, all the time. Real talents would reach the point where there is honesty, humility and integrity. May be it would take some more time.

So, education, let us take very seriously. Let the elders show the path. If you stick to power, chairs for 25-30 years, be it Rajya Sabha or other posts that draw much of the retired officials, then there will be revolts and much else, as in our current education agitations! Let us hope we learn to live like a great nation.

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