Do you know for what reasons?
In house plot ownership trouble!
Let us appoint foreign faculty in Indian universities!
Who doesn’t know Prof.Amartya Sen, the second Nobel Prize winner from that remote, desolate land of Santiniketan, which every Indian knows and feels proud of – as an innovative university founded by Rabindranath Tagore? The Nobel Laureate now lives in the US at Harvard University. Santiniketan is no more as the one seat of learning universally adored and admired!
Why recall his name now right at the fag end of his academic career? Simply because he criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government policies as a public intellectual. This in India right now is considered as a great sin and as everyday events. Those who don’t want their names to be dragged in are in a silent mode, and the country pays heavily in terms of rare opportunities to grow and prosper.
Sen is an old friend, since we were contemporaries in the late 1950s at Santiniketan!
Now, his name is dragged by the Santiniketan administration. The situation is so bad that at the recent celebration of the Santiniketan centenary celebration, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not invited. Many others were left out including its famous student Prof.Amartya Sen himself. What a shame, we might say. But who cares these days for refinement and restraint. When everyone in politics and outside can speak on any topic and even call names and all that will be acceptable and passes on! Now, shall we say something about education? On the present-day education?
The so-called New Education Policy (NEP) is neither new nor is a policy as such!
Why do we say this? Since independence, India became an independent nation with such a history and legacy. India didn’t pay as much attention to its education and reforms as we should have. Why? It is a big question. First, Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy, his own views on education, called Basic Education, was left unquestioned even now. How can we question the views and basic beliefs of the Father of the Nation? Second, the successive education ministers. Today the education portfolio is managed by people, especially now by people who can’t even speak in English. So the status of education in the states where the language patriotism leads to an obstacle to modernise the syllabus and the mother tongue is also a problem, especially in demands for teaching in the mother tongue. The whole thinking on education is problematic in terms of any issues we can’t go into right here!
As for our own view, we are publishing this journal for almost half a century, and readers might see our old issues to know how we have started to change Indian education. Now, we like to draw the attention of Indian educators of the present times about where is the current scenario moving?
As per a recent account in the London Financial Times dated 22 April 2020, overseas students studying in the USA, UK, and other countries are from India 2,11,015, from China 5,46666, in Canada 36,326, also from other countries like Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia (66,408), South Korea(,69,659) and so on. This year there is a steep decline because of Covid. The drop is 4 billion dollars. The so-called developed countries receive about 5 million overseas students. Now, take India. We are sending more than 2 lakh students every year to the UK and the USA. Do you know the cost for an Indian student is Rs 55 lakhs! For inland, domestic students in the UK, it is only some Rs.10 lakh only. Let us think of Indian history. We have been taught under the British Raj to rate everything British superior to whites Indian, be it education or teach for truth! Our simple submission here is that we seek to revise this foreign obsession, be it education or culture. Let us provide world-class education right here in India.
Let our new education policy draw a policy to appoint high-class foreign faculty to teach in our universities, starting with new private universities, then going to public universities. The education market in India is almost exploding. So, this is the right moment. The so-called new education policy is not new at all. It is just a failure to stand up and think and look out at the new world. Enough for this time, we think!