Karela Fry

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All changes are not reforms

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The Hindu reported statements by Kapil Sibal which look regressive, although they are billed as reforms:

The Centre is working on the concept of having ‘Navratna’ universities, on the lines of the famous Ivy League varsities, to meet the challenge of making higher education developmental, environmentally sound, and all-inclusive, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said on Monday.

“We intend to nurture these select universities like the public sector Navratnas, through generous financial support, freedom in access to external funding and total autonomy so as to free them from the shackles of governmental control,” Mr. Sibal said.

If Mr. Sibal wants to give large fractions of the meager union budget for education to a few universities, then that means that the rest of the universities will be left with much less. Our already rickety university system may wither away.

The Ivy League of the USA is a set of privately owned and privately funded universities. Their high level of teaching and research is maintained by a high level of accountability. The only government funded universities are state universities, and even they are often wonderful centers of excellence. The idea of the government funding universities without holding them accountable seems to lead down the road to scams.

As wealth is concentrated in a few hands through unchecked scams and profiteering, the government seems to put more public money into supporting that small corrupt elite. The rest of the country meanwhile descends into ungovernable chaos.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

January 4, 2011 at 4:21 am

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