“Autonomy of Education: Challenges and Solutions”
A Two Day National Seminar on “Autonomy of Education: Challenges and Solutions” was organized by Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College in partnership with Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas and Jawaharlal Nehru University at Convention Centre of JNU.
The inaugural session was commenced with the lighting of the lamp and Saraswati Vandana. Sh. Sanjay Swami, Co-ordinator, Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas introduced all the experts including Honourable Sh. Dinanath Batra, National Convenor of Shiksha Bachao Andolan, Prof. Kapil Kapoor, Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, JNU, and Prof. Bupinder Zutshi, Ex-Registrar, JNU, and Dr. G.K. Arora, Principal, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar College, Delhi University.
Dr. Vinod Kumar, Organizing Secretary of National Seminar, delivered an introductory note on the thematic subject of the seminar: Autonomy in Education. Dr. G.K. Arora addressed the gathering and acknowledged the presence of the guest experts and academicians. He briefly highlighted the new education system in a globalized India and also suggested that adequate adaptive parameters may be introduced in contemporary education system.
Prof Bupinder Zutshi referred to the statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wherein he mentioned the urgent need of autonomy in higher education. He also suggested that researchers and faculty must be given more freedom and the educational institutes be radicalized so that teachers are allowed to restructure curriculum and propose innovative programmes relevant to the students and a conducive educational environment is available to all.
The entire speech of Prof. Kapil Kapoor was focused on Autonomy, Freedom and Swachandata. He suggested the need of inclusion of the ancient Indian philosophy into the curriculum. He referred to Aristotle and said that education should produce men of virtue. He asserted that the education should not be affected by fund, favour or fear.
Shri. Dinanath Batra highlighted that education must begin with the knowledge of oneself. He suggested that Yoga should be an important part of education in India. He also referred to the Kothari Commission which advocated the inclusion of health and life skills in education. He also referred to the UNESCO and stated that education has to be embedded with cultural and moral values.
In the 1st Technical Session, Dr. Banwari Lal Natiya, Rtd. Principal, Rajasthan, focused his discussion on the Gurukul education system. He proposed a modernized version of the Gurukula System that shall be free of cost for the students and shall primarily be funded by public donation. The proposed Gurukul should be formed by aacharya who would hold sole autonomy in all academic, financial, and administrative decisions related the Gurukula. The evaluation system of Gurukul system should be free from all examination and shall be competition free and stree-free.
Prof. Mahavir Prashad Aggarwal, Ex-VC, Uttrakhand Sanskrit University, Dehradun, philosophically explained the history of Gurukul education system in India. He narrated a story in this regard in which he said that Gurukul Kangri was founded on 4th March 1902 at the holy river Ganga with 5 students. His speech was highly insightful and informative especially for the young audience.
In the 2nd Technical Session, Prof. R.K. Mittal, Vice-Chancellor, Ch. Bansi Lal University, Bhiwani, Haryana stated that the basic purpose of education is not only to provide employment but rather to increase the knowledge of the students. He emphasized that students must have the ability to apply what they have learned. Prof. Mittal also raised some issues like funding for research, communication between the institutes and the university, improving student’s value system, and improving the governance.
Dr. Pramod Kumar, Registrar, JNU, emphasized the need of modification of the exiting educational policy with more autonomy to the universities. He also pointed out that the private universities have reduced the quality of higher education, which has hampered the state of employment opportunity in India.
The 3rd Technical Session ended with the deliberation on Autonomy of Education by Prof. N.L. Sharma, Prof. R.K. Mittal, and Dr. Suresh Gupta. There was a cultural programme by the Heritage Club of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College. Today’s session was focused on the importance and autonomy of education and how it can cultivate and flourish in the contemporary scenario. Tomorrow is the valedictory session of this National Seminar.