good signs

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Sep 2018 12:43:50

DEFINITIVE good signs are emerging from education sector as some institutions of higher learning have entered the top global listings. Rising to global standards, for example, the Indian Institute of Technology at Indore (IIT-Indore) has debuted into the listing and rose to second position among Indian institutions. The Indian segment has been led often by the Indian Institute of Science at Bengaluru. Some other Indian institutions, too, have begun figuring in the global listings, which should be treated as a welcome sign. This development indicates that India’s institutions of higher learning are beginning to achieve reasonable success by raising their respective standards. 

It is obvious that such a listing alone does not mark higher standards. Yet, there also is no doubt that the global listings do recognise merit and quality of our institutions. Thus, by any standard, it feels good to have the Indian institutions of higher learning in increasing numbers on a global scale. A lot of thought is going into this aspect of Indian education in the past few years. There was a sense of disappointment that India could not boast of many such globally recognisable institutions of higher learning. Slowly, however, things appear to be improving, institutions like IIT-Indore storming into the listing for the first time and hitting the second spot right on debut.

It must be noted, however, that the overall educational scenario in India really cannot boast of global standards. This does not happen because of absence of financial resources alone, but also for the absence of the desired higher levels of quality of teaching and infrastructural facilities like world-class libraries and laboratories and research projects responding to global demand for innovation not just in applied but also in pure sciences. Correspondingly, Indian higher education does not figure well on the global standards in terms of studies of humanities and non-science subjects such as languages as a matter of philosophical belief.

As against this general picture, the educational scenario in many countries is fired by ideals whose bottom-line is far above India’s best levels. This means, the thrust has to come from refinement of human comprehension -- collective and individual -- about issues that confront the humanity today. And the biggest hurdle in achieving global standards in Indian education is the casual attitude towards detail. While education is a process of manifestation of perfection within, as Swami Vivekananda said, Indian educators do not really recognise the presence of a latent perfection within, waiting to be woken up, manifested to its full potential. A lack of this belief -- that education achieves this intangible goal in tangible terms -- is at the core of the collective failure of Indian education to achieve global standards. For, global standards are decided in two areas -- physical facilities to enhance the teaching-learning process, and the philosophical belief in the fundamental purpose of education.

Even a superficial look at globally recognised institutions of higher learning the world over will reveal the depth and quality of philosophical belief-system in those places. That belief-system ensures an undying commitment to excellence and uncompromising devotion to the final purpose of education. That alone brings quality into the teaching-learning process. It is on this front that India is yet to start registering reasonably high levels of thought and action. Those few institutions that make efforts in that direction do achieve better rankings for themselves. If Indian education has to stay near the top of global listings, then its leaders will have to start overhauling their beliefs and philosophies. For, the real trigger for good action in education comes only from that inner domain.