The Indian university system

Andre Beteille, in a piece in The Telegraph:

The universities cannot continue to be viable if they are set contradictory objectives. In the typical case, the Indian university is expected to produce hundreds of thousands of graduates every year, and these numbers keep rising. But it is also expected to maintain and even advance standards of teaching and research in all significant branches of learning. Those who advise the government know that these two objectives cannot be met simultaneously by the same institution or the same kind of institution, but their desire to be of service to the nation leads them to hope that they will somehow be able to square the circle.

Though Beteille is not stating it explicitly, his piece seems to argue for more and more of Indian Institutes of XXX type universities:

Perhaps the all-purpose university of the 19th and early 20th centuries has outlived its utility in the 21st century. If the university is to be viable as a centre of advanced study and research, it may have to limit the ambition that it earlier had of covering all branches of existing knowledge. At the same time, a university will scarcely deserve to be called one if it confines itself to a single subject. There is really no good reason to swing from the extremes of inclusion to the extremes of exclusion. A university can serve as an effective institution of teaching and research if it limits itself to a cluster of related subjects, and restrains its ambition for indefinite expansion.

It appears to me that we can still create universities that will be communities of learning, combining teaching and research, provided they are able to limit their scale and scope. Such universities will of course have to conduct examinations and award degrees, but the conduct of examinations and the awarding of degrees need not become their sole or even their main concern as inevitably happens in the mass universities.

Take a look!

One Response to “The Indian university system”

  1. university Says:

    I came to your blog to read another page but I found that you have many good posts to read.Please keep posting. Thanks!

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