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Crisis in Higher Education: A Symptom of Systemic Decay

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05 Jan, 24 09:07
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Crisis in Higher Education: A Symptom of Systemic Decay

In a move aligned with the New Education Policy-2020, the discontinuation of the two-year MPhil degree in 2020 aimed at streamlining the education system and reducing the time and cost for students pursuing a PhD. While the intent was commendable, the implementation has sparked confusion, leading to unforeseen challenges for many research scholars. A recent warning from the University Grants Commission (UGC) sheds light on the disconcerting revelation that some universities continue to offer the now-defunct MPhil program, potentially exposing unsuspecting students to an invalid course.

The apparent misdemeanour by these universities raises questions about their motives, seemingly driven by the desire to collect fees ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh per annum from students enrolled in the obsolete program. Equally disconcerting is the UGC's reactive response to the situation. A more proactive approach, involving strict enforcement of the new rule and the issuance of regular, prominently advertised cautionary notes since 2020, could have curtailed this malpractice much earlier.

However, this development is not an isolated incident but rather a symptom of the larger crisis afflicting the country's higher education system. Public universities, once bastions of academic freedom, have become tools for dispensing favors by ruling governments, openly interfering in academic affairs and appointment processes. The erosion of autonomy is palpable, manifested in the escalating intolerance towards dissent and the suppression of free debate on campuses.

Underfunding compounds the challenges faced by the higher education sector, adversely impacting both teachers and students. The lack of financial resources stifles innovation and compromises the quality of human resources. The consequences of this systemic decay are far-reaching, hindering the sector's ability to adapt, evolve, and provide a nurturing environment for intellectual growth.

It is imperative for authorities to address the root causes of these issues. Stricter enforcement of policies, transparent governance, and increased funding are crucial steps towards revitalizing the higher education landscape. Additionally, fostering an atmosphere that encourages intellectual discourse, respects academic autonomy, and safeguards the rights of students and scholars is essential for the long-term health of the education system.

The current scenario calls for a comprehensive and concerted effort from policymakers, educational institutions, and the broader society to restore the integrity of higher education in the country. Only through collaborative and sustained initiatives can we hope to overcome the present challenges and build a future where education serves as a beacon of enlightenment and progress.
 


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यह खबर निम्न श्रेणियों पर भी है: Editorial
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