Political society

Building blocks of a knowledge society

Second, every effort should be made to rejuvenate and transform public sector universities in Jammu and Kashmir. These are in desperate need of comprehensive restructuring and are important for the development of a knowledge society. Today, many of these institutions operate at their own risk and responsibility in a world dominated by global capitalism where the big fish gobble up the little ones. Multinationals have driven local businesses to extinction and who can save the idea of ​​a public university? Indian universities, due to their internal disorder, have been compared to “a stagnant pond and an expanding desert” (Apoorvanand, 2018). Harvard, MIT and Oxford can launch their own academic globalization through online degrees and the pandemic has already accelerated the process. In some ways, India has already experienced this emerging new educational world order. The neoliberal economic order and Covid 19 have increased inequality in India as in other parts of the world. High-end private universities viz. Ashoka and Jindal Global University have a class character and cannot be pan-Indian model. These private universities are emerging as “closed communities for the privileged classes and the concern is that public universities may turn into ghettos”. In 2006 and 2018, the number of private universities increased from 19 to 290, of which 223 appeared only after 2009. There is also a current of opinion that taxpayers’ money does not need be used for higher education because its benefits are accrued by individuals and not society. However, my reading of the tea leaves prompts me to vouch for the revival of the public university system which can be an investment in the cause of nation building. No nation can have a few islands of excellence in the National Capital Region (NCR) surrounded by cesspools of corruption and inefficiency. The J&K government must implement a publicly funded program for deserving and deserving students to be sent to the best universities in the world, namely Harvard, MIT, Yale and Oxford. The government can create a good scholarship scheme on the condition that they return to their home country to contribute productively to the public university sector. To the best of my knowledge, the government of Rajasthan has already devised such a program. This can be a good step towards the development of a knowledge society. Harvard University was a “sarkari” university at one time, but suffered a slow death due to weak internal governance. It was only after its internal disarray was sorted out that we found a provincial university transitioning into a world-class institution.