Universities

Universities: National or Local?


Dr. Kamlesh Misra

Former Vice Chancellor, Ansal University


India is supposed to have had the roots of higher education dating back as early as the 1000 B.C. Though at that time the education provided by the then institutes were the ancient knowledge of the Vedas. The modern education system was actually set up during the colonization of India and The Indian Higher education has gone through many transformations, some for the better while some for the worst. One of the regrettable change over the year has been the alteration of the universities from national to local.

There was a time in India where there were many universities deemed national. Now, this title has been fading away like the passing wind. Only a few of these universities have managed to keep the title that too with great struggle. Despite this many national universities who have a glorious past, unfortunately, are turning in to local universities like a rapid fire. So, what exactly went wrong which led to land these universities with such defective fate?

Education which is vital for the growth of a country and especially in a developing nation like India, it is more important that the education sector flourishes. It is considered that the universities are a micro picture of the society we live in. It is like the mirror image of the changes in our society. So whatever happens on our campuses doesn’t only affect the students, teachers and faculty but also the nation itself. Several reforms that started around the year 1975 have had a calamitous impact on the universities of India.

Around this era, one of the significant thing that happened was the formation of regional parties in India. The political dispute had a major impact on the education sector. The regional parties wanted to win elections and to have an upper hand on the national parties, these regional parties catered the needs of the local community. However, this thinking didn’t unite the nation to work forward for development instead divided it for worse into National and Regional lines. So we moved from national level thinking to regional level thinking. The cherry on the cake was the steps taken by Regional parties to have topped the political stature. To further strengthen the political hold successive regional governments pushed for admissions of local students in universities. Appointment of faculty and staff was based on regional lines. Though, some can say this was a good move and ensure employment of the locals in the long run, this move had a few setbacks hence declining the level of education. This was a very destructive move for Indian universities.

The local and regional interests were taking priority over the national interests. Although the country is divided into 29 states, in reality, it shouldn’t be divided when working for maintaining the standards of the education system at the global level. This division was made for better governance of the country, not for the destruction and loss of advantage that we had previously on the global community.

Our universities and education sector now is the reflection of this poor governance and divided behaviour. The political pressures ensured that local students got priority in admissions, local people got priority in jobs and this completely ruined the diversity within the University System. As most of the students were and the teacher was becoming then the universities started to become the breeding grounds of the political parties instead of the temple of education. This also cuts back the diverse nature that the Indian Universities usually should provide. Unions became powerful that they have support from political parties as well. These are the few ways which led us to this moment, that we have to witness the fall of the mighty National Universities of India into one with just local jurisdiction.

Only if we could travel back in time and maintain the level of education that we had before. It would be good to have these National Universities back.

 Universities

 

These are some key features of the National Universities:

The Faculty in the National University is among the best of the teachers from around the country and from different parts of the country. Hence bringing the culture and linguistic features with them. Almost all states and union territories are represented in the university by faculty members and administrators.

  • These appointments are based on merit and not the preference of being from that region or being a local of that community, hence its open for all and fair for everyone as it gives everyone equal chance of appointment and also increases the level of competition.
  • There is a fair mix of minorities among the faculty and staff and there is a place for people of different faiths. Hence, it is diverse in nature and can be a learning experience for both teachers and students.
  • Likewise the appointment, the admissions are also open to everyone from the country. Students come from all parts of the country and not just a single region.

Despite all the odds, there are few universities like JNU and University of Delhi (DU) that have been holding onto the position of being a National University. We hope that the golden days of the National Universities will be back like the 90’s fashion. And the concept of local university dissolves as quickly as venom does with blood and kills the ill factors destroying the level of education in India.

What do you think about this? Should Regional or Local benefits be given?

Do you want the National Universities of India to make a comeback?

Let us know in the comments.

One thought on “Universities: National or Local?

  1. Vinay says:

    National level education /thinking is a prerequisite for national growth. However educational opportunities need to be provided to student close to place/ state of residence to all. This will reduce movement/ costs for poor and needy.

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