Challenges of higher education
The institutes of higher education in Kashmir are deteriorating in quality of education, research and creativity. There was a time when our universities produced raw talent in the fields of Science, humanities, law, arts, commerce, management studies and media studies. There was a time that if one studied from a university one was guaranteed of a respectable job in the field of his/her expertise. However, with the passage of time things deteriorated and a strange culture of ‘yes-men’ intruded our institutes of higher education and bogus scholars ubiquitously walked the chinar-shaded roads of our universities.
What led to this downfall? Who allowed the things to hit rock bottom? That too at a time when due to the dearth of many universities in the valley, the existing ones attract the best of the best minds for various faculties. It is amazing how the rotten administrative system inside our universities actually lets the talent go waste and is not able to spawn an environment of quality research. The best minds enter our universities where they learn nothing more than internal politics and sycophancy. It has come to such a pass that there is literally no place for men of integrity in our universities. There are stories of research scholars ferrying children of their guides from school, cooking food for the family of their guides and sometimes within campuses washing cars of their guides.
The other big problem plaguing our institutes of higher education is sheer absence of any placement policy. Even though there is a namesake placement cell in all of our universities but they are not even able to place the top ranking students from management studies and mass communication department. The result is the piling of sycophant scholars over more sycophant scholars and in between talent goes down the drain.
There is a lot of things which have gone awry with our institutes of higher learning. There is no lack of funding from the University Grants Commission (UGC). Only God knows where all that money goes. The students continue to suffer in an atmosphere where the ministerial staff, the teaching staff and a few sadistic professors verbally decide who among the students is being taken for PHD and who not?
An odd change here and an odd change there would not make any difference. The system of higher education needs a complete overhaul.