Saturday, August 11, 2012

Indian Versus Western Universities

Prof. Krishna Kumar delivers a devastating indictment of Indian Universities:

1) Faculty recruitment is not meritocratic.
2) Our concept of what constitutes teaching and learning is mechanical, based on criteria like number of hours taught and percentage attendance by students.
3) Teachers are restricted to narrowly defined syllabi and don't have the freedom to innovate- "Teaching goes on following the grooves of preset syllabi, like the needle boring into an old gramophone record" ... What a line!
4) Our Libraries suck.

He goes on:

These four critical differences are, of course, symptomatic of deeper problems entrenched in structures that govern higher education in India. Those who perceive all problems in financial terms miss the barren landscape of our campuses. Inadequacy of funds is, of course, worrisome, but it cannot explain the extent to which malice, jealousy and cussedness define the fabric of academic life in our country. There is a vast chasm that separates the Indian academia from society. Let alone the masses, even the urban middle class cares little for what goes on inside classrooms and laboratories.

There are off course centers of excellence. But the vast majority of Indian graduates pass through the dystopian lands that Prof. Krishna Kumar describes.

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