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A far-flung vision of eradicating politics from higher education

BY: Abhi | Category: Education | Post Date: 2009-12-17

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7 years ago, when the National Accreditation Assessment Council (NAAC India) came to carry out a mandatory evaluation in Asutosh College registered under University of Calcutta, the then principal of the college Debabrata Chowdhury was enthralled. The college fared very well and one of the NAAC member even said there is likelihood that the college grants autonomy. Today Asutosh College bears a C++ grade…

This reference was just to demonstrate the dampening academic atmosphere and deteriorating educational standards in colleges of India today. Higher education in India is far from good. There are countless reasons but one of them is surely the ever-growing influence of politics in educational institutes. Politics is a contagious disease that has laid a hand on everything in India and education was never spared of it but what is worrying is the vast proportion that it has gained. Nobody denies that political framework is necessary for a society and its development. Political decision-making should only incorporate educational factors aiming at its betterment. It should not slip in to institutes for votes and power. What are considered as cradles of academic excellence should not be reduced into mere political pitch. The sight of rallies, election campaigning, etc by students is ugly. Yes, a students union is meant to act as the bridge between students and the authority so that the grievances of the students reach the ears. But often the motive deviates to petty avarice for power. What these unions actually do is dubious if at all they do anything. Campus conflicts/violence is an upshot of the crave for power that exists in the minds of these so-called student unions.

-It is silly to expect that these unions will gift us a peaceful campus and a serene academic ambiance if they come to power-, says a professor of political science whose name would better be kept undercover. In any case if we are bound to have this way of life, next comes the question as to how far these groups are providing what they say they will. What hits the most is that these groups are backed by a mother party under the guidance and canopy of whom and following the dictum of which these groups carry out. It is sordid to have politics raging in a place where education is imparted, and what is worse is that there is a huge amount of hostility and violence owing to this which literally kills the academic environment. There should be one neutral body that will perform the duty of addressing the issues of the students. This body should be entirely uninfluenced by any political party, but should have an individualist ideology which will not be a derivative of any political organization. This group should instead focus on cultural and sporting activities of the college and ensure participation of students. At present the opposition and the ruling party of a state generally have a students union which is run by the students of colleges. That means the institutes are now preposterously turning into the third house of the nation, where a vote by students will decide which party should rule. It is ridiculous.

It is often forgotten that a college or a university is a place for edification, learning and culture. Institutions today are meager battlegrounds just like the assembly houses. There is a total need to depoliticize education and cradles of learning in order to resurrect Indian higher education. It will take a long long time to change this scenario, but there should be a beginning to everything and hopefully the seeds of a distant dream are sown today.

Those who want to voice against political affrays in colleges and cradles of education, please leave a comment stating that you don't want politicization of higher education.


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Comment Comment By Comment Date
you are right Politics of any sort should stay away from education at any cost
Abhishek 2009-12-17

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