TODAY -

Educational institutions suffering from political interference

Priyanka Saurabh *



Universities should not become centres of nurturing political interests instead of educational reforms. Vice-Chancellors in Central Universities are appointed by the Central Government and in State Universities, by the State Governments. In any state, the party which is in power appoints its favourites as the Vice Chancellor. There are such examples in every state.

If the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor is based on how close he is to the ruling party or its leader, then will it not be meaningless to expect him to bring about educational reforms? Needless to say, appointments should be made based on merit and talent and not based on political preference. Universities create talents. If talents are neglected due to political ideology, it will have fatal consequences.


Indian higher education, once a symbol of intellectual freedom, is facing the growing threat of political interference. This interference undermines autonomy and freedom the foundations of academic excellence and has a chilling effect on research, teaching and student discussion. Appointments in educational institutions and universities suffering from political interference should be based on merit and talent.

The Central and State Governments should undertake to achieve this goal. For this, education must be given top priority and educational institutions should be free from political interference. They should not be allowed to become the arena of politics.

Universities should not become centres of nurturing political interests instead of educational reforms. Vice-Chancellors in Central Universities are appointed by the Central Government and State Governments in State Universities. In any state, the party which is in power appoints its favourites as the Vice Chancellor. There are such examples in every state.

Curricular decisions may be influenced by political goals. For example, initiatives have been taken to push particular national narratives or censor dialogue on sensitive topics. This hinders critical thinking as well as comprehensive education. If faculty and students fear negative consequences for expressing different opinions they may self-censor due to political pressure.

It prevents honest discussion and discovery of troubling truths. The irony is that all the education courses, which are now being called programmes, are old-fashioned. Any educational reform is possible only by saving the curriculum from the defect of being one-sided and by improving the value of higher education and research.

The value of research will improve only when a creative environment of serious research and continuous study is created. Only by creating this environment, the youth can be energized positively and creatively, but the tragedy is that the subject matter and process of higher education has often been done considering foreign knowledge as standard, as a result of which we have become separated from our tradition. Have gone.

Political factors can influence the distribution of research funding and professorships. This destroys merit and prevents potentially controversial research. Political interference may weaken the self-governance ability of universities. This limits their ability to recruit the best candidates and set their own educational goals.

Universities have sometimes seen the appointment of politically affiliated individuals to administrative positions, raising concerns about potential bias in decision-making. If the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor is based on how close he is to the ruling party or its leader, then will it not be meaningless to expect him to bring about educational reforms?

Needless to say, appointments should be made based on merit and talent and not based on political preference. Universities produce talents. If talents are neglected due to political ideology, it will have fatal consequences.

This is particularly seen in the social sciences and humanities, where even senior academics fear publishing work that they feel may create problems for them from state authorities. For example, intellectuals like Pratap Bhanu Mehta and Samina Dalwai.

Peaceful student protests against government policies are sometimes met with heavy-handed crackdowns, stifling free speech and dissent on campus. For example, at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). In some cases, governments have attempted to remove books or topics deemed politically inconvenient from the curriculum.

It is often seen that governments allocate funds to universities based on political likes and dislikes. Being state-dependent, universities have to face political pressure. State universities remain problematic due to lack of resources and remain mouthpieces of the government. In ancient times, education was not state-dependent. That is why at that time the Guru had independent power.

At that time, the Guru used to mould the disciples morally and intellectually and considered the formation of the disciple's personalities as his religion. Today's education is neither free from prejudices nor political obstacles. Today's education is not even inclusive. To date, neither a uniform curriculum has been implemented, nor uniform education facilities have been made available.

By understanding the risks of political interference and implementing proactive measures, India can guarantee that its higher education system remains a genuine space for intellectual inquiry and critical thought, which is essential for a prosperous democracy and sustainable future. Today, parents provide such education to their children so that they can make a career and earn enough money.

The ideal situation is that education should be such that it makes the student a better human being. Only a better human being will be a better citizen, for whom the country and national interest will be paramount.

The Central and State Governments should undertake to achieve this goal. For this, education must be given top priority and educational institutions should be free from political interference. They should not be allowed to become the arena of politics.

Universities should not become centres of nurturing political interests instead of educational reforms. Vice-Chancellors in Central Universities are appointed by the Central Government and in State Universities, by the State Governments. In any state, the party which is in power appoints its favourites as the Vice Chancellor.

There are such examples in every state. If the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor is based on how close he is to the ruling party or its leader, then will it not be meaningless to expect him to bring about educational reforms?

Needless to say, appointments should be made based on merit and talent and not based on political preference. Universities produce talents. If talents are neglected due to political ideology, it will have fatal consequences.


* Priyanka Saurabh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a Research Scholar in Political Science,
and can be contacted at writerpriyankasaurabh94161(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on July 09 2024.



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