Dreaming of eminence

Dreaming of eminence

December 11, 2017

India is the world’s largest democracy. One has to keep one’s reaction to that claim, or description of the nation using superlative adjective, without getting lost in the choice between (a) the adulation reflects its humongous population (as the second most populous) and (b) the appreciation for its democratic dispensation (which has started showing signs of balkanisation) of the nation’s territory. While the above two sides to the country’s present profile are to be accepted as facts, various global rating agencies, choosing different parameters, economic or otherwise, are coming out with their data-based verdicts about India that are not quite flattering.

In fact, their rating on parameters such as public health care, nutrition status of the population, law and order scenario, safety on roads witnessing alarming rise in mishaps as well as fatalities and so on have been tending to be at the bottom rung of the latter, which the country’s administration owes it to the people to earn higher ratings in a short time-frame. Thanks to the honchos in the successive governments pursuing personal interest, the dream of earning top billing by global rating agencies is likeable to asking for the moon.

A former President of the country, who took fascination to meet young minds in schools and colleges across the country, even while being in the nation’s topmost post, used to exhort his target section of the population to dream, carrying a message of intimate connect between progress and creative thinking. Now the Union government has come forward to do a similar act, but making a tempting offer of huge financial grants.

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Even as the number of Universities, including deemed Universities as well as autonomous colleges authorised to award degrees across the country is on the cusp of crossing the 1,000 mark, we read disturbing reports in dailies of all hues giving the unmistakable impression that all is not well in these institutions, barring a handful of them. The Universities in Karnataka, as is familiar to the avid readers of media reports, are making headlines for all wrong reasons in recent times. In this context, the news in a section of the press last week under the caption “University of Mysore eyes Institute of Eminence tag should make one sit up and ponder about (a) Frequently published low global rating of India’s Universities at large and (b) Another published fact namely, the University of Mysore was ranked 36th in the survey conducted by National Institute of Ranking Framework.

In sum, one is constrained to observe that as long as the political heavy-weights call the shots in making decisions concerning even academic matters as well as appointing faculty, the dream of earning the eminence tag shall remain a pipe dream.

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