Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

K. Sankaran, Beloo Mehra, and Mitali Saran

Manipal University, started by the TMA Pai, is on the world map with students from over 50 countries coming over to a small hamlet in Karnataka for education... But the fact is that the government patronage of higher education in the present form has outlived its utility. 
For the students the idealism of wishing a better society brings them to student politics. Unless the free debate is allowed outside the constraints of a utilitarian-oriented government machinery, we are likely to see more of such conflicts as being witnessed in JNU or the Hyderabad University. The government in power may think that the problem is one of lack of nationalism or patriotism. But this line of thinking is one of patronization and a “big bother” attitude. Managing young minds is in no way similar to managing political, bureaucratic or corporate organizations. A different set of skills have to be applied to manage young idealistic minds. A combination of the highest cognitive skills and highest affective skills have to be brought in to manage students whose aspirations are high, who are competitive, differentially endowed, and whose ideas of what is practical and impractical are still under formation. 
The leadership of educational institutions calls for combining strictness with kindness, genuine concern with student welfare with detachment, respect for rules with flexibility, and reward for the individual genius while maintaining egalitarianism in the classroom. Outside, the common man may think that subject expertise is adequate for teaching at higher education institutions. Expertise is only part of the requirement. The right emotional tone, the ability to institute systems that are perceived to be fair and yet capable of being challenged when justice is at stake are required of the educational leaders. [...]
And debris management is as good (or bad!) as no management. In simple terms we have to accept first that the current situation is caused by expedient, political factors. All major decisions in India seem to be marked by impatience, lack of respect for contested argumentation, political expediency, inadequate intellectual and emotional skills to negotiate opposing views, lack of respect for conceptualization and amfeudal mindset. I think we should be reframing the questions. The problems are created by inadequate anticipation on the part of the society and policy makers... When these is some serious discussion on this, the discussants (society in this case) will themselves solve the issues on hand. We will not have to have the so-called leaders solving problems for us.

Alan Krishnan Wow, great insight and food for thought. Government should stay out of academics and limit involvement to low interest loans and land allocation… show more
K Sankaran Alan, Great idea... A national educational foundation to encourage quality research and knowledge development among private universities.

Published by Beloo See more
Why Nationalism? February 23, 2016 Beloo Mehra Student of Sri Aurobindo, Educator, Writer, Blogger.
Lately in India it has become fashionable among some self-styled intellectuals and their unthinking proteges and admirers to say that they don’t believe in the ‘idea’ of nation and nationalism. These can be found saying this sort of thing in some of our university campuses, TV studios, and also social media. [...]
An important article, a guest post, is being serialised on our research blog, Matriwords. It is important because it speaks about the different forces trying to break India, the necessity to counter such forces, and what must be done to counter such forces.

The fig leaf is gone, revealing the BJP's naked Hindutva. My column in @bsindia today. …
Until quite recently, despite all the problems that we face – corruption, criminality, oppression, bigotry, inefficiency, lawlessness, inaction, and monumental incompetence – India kept making the noises that responsible, civilised, progressive democracies make. A lot of those noises constituted the merest fig leaf over on-going awfulness. But even a fig leaf counts for something, a lifeline to the democratic values we signed up for, in the turbulence of current events.
In the last couple of weeks, even that fig leaf of propriety has been tossed aside, and what it reveals is truly obscene. It’s not just the uglies — it’s the uglies twisted and turned upside down. 

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