25 January, 2021

Degrees Of Heresy

A member's dissenting note to the Yashpal panel report

Illustration by Sorit
Degrees Of Heresy
The next five years can be pivotal for India's future if the new government shows the imagination to carry out critical reforms. Take higher education. Till a few decades ago, this flourished thanks to the far-sightedness of our founding fathers, most notably Jawaharlal Nehru. This sector is now faltering not only because India has changed but because it has not. If we want to sustain growth and be a progressive, enlightened nation, change is imperative.

First, it has to be recognised that the quality of education cannot be raised through licensing. We learnt this the hard way in the case of the economy, which, till 1991, withered under the stranglehold of 'industrial licensing'. We must now do the same for education: remove bureaucratic entry-barriers for new colleges and universities. Some of them will be of poor quality, but that is a price we have to pay. The US has many sub-par universities. That does not detract from America's reputation as the world leader in higher education, because it is home to also the world's greatest...


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