Do you find a coaching center preparing for competitive exams , admission tests, or preparing for examinations in Europe or USA or Japan ? Now no job or admission to any course of any worth is open without any competitive examination in India.
In such a situation students turn to coaching center preparing for competition for admissions to IIT, PET, PMT, CPMT, or coaching for administrative services etc.
Many years ago I studied an article in a newspaper in UK that more and more emphasis is given to professional course like engineering, medical and less and less is given to courses like English literature, Social Sciences,Philosophy, Political Science Arts , Fine arts, History and Culture.
The same is true for India. Almost five hundred or more new Universities have come up in public and private sector. How many Universities have established themselves in basic sciences and arts.
All are rushing for "quick money courses: like para medical courses, nursing, pharmacology, engineering , management and medical and dental courses.
Where are famous scholars and students to do research in History or English Literature which used to be the most important subjects of any University. Earlier a very bright student will opt for "arts " and a not so bright for "science". Money making subjects like Biotechnology Microbiology, have been introduced. Department of Biotechnology or Department of Science and Technology though exist in many developing countries but their thought process is heavily guided by compulsions of global conformity rather than local needs.
What is a coaching Institute? A good quality guessing on pattern of examination, air conditioned class rooms,cramming experts and repetitive knowledge transfer with no knowledge creation mechanism and no innovation to build inherent potential of a student other than making him a quick answering machine to 100 questions with yes or no. Even if one will tick on any one of the a, b, c, d, on all the 100 questions out of four options offered, the probability is one will get 25 percent marks if option for negative marking is removed.
What is a college ? A body of knowledge imparting institution with almost no potential or atmosphere for knowledge creation.
What is a University? An image of a University in other part of globe reminds me of a huge Union Building housing photographs of erstwhile academicians discovers of various equipment’s , former and present students with distinction in merit or games , teachers, presidents and syndicate members. Students and visitors and faculty are provided a facility to sit , read relax interact and eat at the same time. Any one can proudly remember Union Building of a University in Northern America. One of the biggest building of any University used to be library building and for that matter University of Rajsthan still has such a building with highest number of reading books and journals in this part of the globe in a state level University. However a huge library is soon loosing its charm and people go to quick searches on "net" but reading a book and making notes and interplay of thoughts and generation of new ideas takes time and patience which is no more in the present world. Libraries are gathering dust. Bound volumes arrive in developing world so late that they lose their relevance for creation of knowledge.
Huge grants by Governments to furnish University labs without furnishing staff can hardly lead to knowledge creation. Most of the staff in almost all the Universities is retiring or retired as they were appointed post independence in large numbers and now completing their innings.New staff is not appointed as money crunch is getting more and more evident in traditional Universities solely dependent on Government funding.Instead Government is laying more and more emphasis on opening new Universities forgetting the fact that Oxford and Cambridge have not come in a decade and old University earns its name and fame with decades of devoted teaching and research.
A new breed of “quick buck universities” is a result of new breed of investors in this sector with expectations of making quick money without the hassels of " inspector raj' and minimum regulations as compared to opening an industry. Every day dozens are Universities are coming up all over the country. Some of them do have excellent buildings and laws and hostels . They offer professional courses, guarantee for placements. They do have qualified staff at places or at least try to do so at least at some places . But such Universities are exceptions to the rule as opening a University must lead to quick money generation for its founders who draw huge amounts from banks or personal resources.A University is most lucrative Industry.
But the question remains who will teach basic courses like Zoology, Botany, Physics and Chemistry or Mathematics or Statistics, or for that matter literature and arts and social science courses and do researches in them. Can a nation afford to neglect basic sciences and arts and still remain in leading position for long if it was there or reach there at all if it was not there.