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Published: Monday, 21 March, 2016 09:55 AM
Read and develop points for discussion for GD Topic - Universities produce PHDs or breed budding Netas?
Universities across the world, are not just centres of learning and acquiring knowledge, but also provide fertile grounds for different ideologies to clash with each other. On one hand, while the universities foster a spirit of research and inquiry, on the other, they also encourage interrogation of past and existing ideologies and practices.
A. Politics and education get inevitably intertwined in a university. The primary aim of universities, according to me, is to provide education and knowledge, so that a student is able to get employment. At the end of the day, if the education system of a country is unable to provide jobs to students once they finish their education, all other things that it may provide, including political awakening, will not matter.
B. I think that it is important for the youth to be politically conscious. Politics is all about being aware of one’s rights and standing up for them. Politics is about making choices. Politics is also about government and governance in a structured manner. Students, who enrol themselves for higher studies in universities, get a chance to think about the society and world they live in, formulate their opinions and engage passionately in debates and discussions.
C. As compared to universities abroad, the research scenario in India is not upto the mark. India lacks the requisite infrastructure that supports higher research and thus, the number of students graduating with research degrees remains quite less. This is worrying trend, especially in a country like India, where research can be an enabling factor in its march towards development and can provide solutions to a number of problems that plague the country. Therefore, the students, who take up higher studies should realise the value of what they are doing, focus only on their research and not allow themselves to be distracted.
D. Of late, universities seem to have become breeding grounds for budding politicians, who exploit the ready support of fellow students to take on the government of the day. Student unions, an important part of democracy, sometimes tend to be driven by the bigger political forces of the country, who use such unions to further their political agenda and a way of controlling the minds of the youth of the country. By giving direction to the student unions of universities, the larger political forces also try to control the intellectual domain of the society and impose their views.
E. True, the recent spurt in student activism across universities is, both a healthy, as well as, a dangerous trend. Healthy because it is a sign that students are aware of things happening in the society and are taking keen interest in the functioning of their country. It is a dangerous trend because this is also diverting their attention from their primary responsibility, which is to equip themselves with knowledge, work in the larger interests of the country and contribute in its development.
F. Also, the students, who are politically active, do not represent the entire student community of a particular university. There will be students who would much rather focus on their studies than be a part of someone’s political ventures. These students tend to suffer and lose out on precious time. The media attention that student politics receives these days, can tarnish the image of the university and polarise opinions, which can jeopardise the future of the students.
Though students should be encouraged to voice their views and take part in the political process, this should not be at the cost of their education. A student’s first devotion should be towards his/her studies. Student activism should not be hijacked by external forces looking to further their own interests and to vitiate the stability of the country.
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