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Mushrooming factories of education losing social relevance: CJI Ramana

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NEW DELHI: Chief Justice N V

Ramana

on Saturday lamented that institutions have become factories of education to uproo students from their social and cultural roots and said universities must encourage free speech, cultural diversity while becoming centres for novel ideas and path-breaking research.

Speaking at the convocation function of

Acharya Nagarjuna University

,

Guntur

, Andhra Pradesh, the

CJI

said focus of professional courses, unfortunately, is to create obedient workforce for highly remunerative jobs that would generate required output.

“There is a total neglect of equally important subjects such as the humanities, natural sciences, history, economics and languages. The harsh reality is that even after the students enter professional universities, the focus is on classroom learning, and not on the world beyond,” he said.

Recalling the open learning system prevalent at the universities during his student days four decades ago, Justice Ramana said, “We used to debate on ideologies, philosophy, politics and social issues under the trees or in canteens or dining halls. Our deliberations, our activism, our resolution to bring about changes shaped our opinions about the world. It taught us the value of an individual voice and opinion, in shaping the dynamics of society and politics. We realised the value of a liberal democracy: where the rights and freedoms protect our thought and speech, where diversity of opinion is welcomed.”

He said present day higher education institutions are losing their social relevance. “We are witnessing mushrooming of factories of education which are leading to devaluation of degrees and human resources. I am not sure who or what is to be blamed… True education should enable individuals to acknowledge the deep rooted issues prevailing in society and find appropriate solutions. Universities ought to be incubation centres of novel ideas and path-breaking research,” he said.

Institutions must prepare every student how to face challenges in real life to enable them to achieve social solidarity while creating meaningful personalities, he said. “Our institutes must focus on the value of social relationships and conscious citizenship. It should blend our historical baggage with a futuristic vision, to equip young minds with the right tools and attitudes to transform our society with awareness and right understanding,” he said.

“Apart from enhancing their in-house capabilities, the Universities must collaborate with renowned research and development organisations. This will provide practical experience to students and encourage a culture of scientific enquiry and research. There should be active cooperation by the State to earmark funds for research and innovation. It will be a sad commentary if we allow our key areas of learning and research to suffer on account of lack of funding,” the CJI said.

“I would urge you all to build a democracy filled with vibrancy and idealism, where differences of identities and opinions are respected. Don’t allow corrupt thoughts. Don’t tolerate injustices. Think beyond yourself, and be willing to make sacrifices. Be sensitive to the needs of the community and society,” the CJI advised the students.

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