Chief Justice of India Justice N V Ramana on Saturday stressed on developing a model of education that teaches students how to face real-life challenges and lamented that institutions of higher learning were losing their social relevance with the “mushrooming of factories of education”.
There was a total neglect of equally important subjects like humanities, natural sciences, history, economics and languages, he said. “We are witnessing mushrooming of factories of education which are leading to devaluation of degrees and human resources. I am not sure, who or what is to be blamed,” he said while delivering the convocation address after receiving an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU), his alma mater, at Amravati.
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Justice Ramana said the youth must be “conscious change-makers” who should think of sustainable models of development. “This consciousness must acknowledge the needs of our community and environment while being pioneers in your respective fields,” he said.
‘Focus on classroom learning’
He regretted that the focus of professional courses continued to be on creation of an obedient workforce, like in colonial times, that could generate the required output. “The harsh reality is that even after the students enter professional universities, the focus is on classroom learning and not on the world beyond. Securing highly remunerative and profitable job opportunities has become the sole objective behind such education,” he said.
Justice Ramana said it was time for a transformation of the country’s education system. “Our institutes must focus on the value of social relationships and conscious citizenship. Education should blend our historical baggage with a futuristic vision to equip young minds with the right tools and attitudes to transform our society with awareness and right understanding,” he said.
‘State should help in funding research’
The CJI called upon universities and their research wings to focus on issues affecting the country and try to find comprehensive solutions. The state should actively co-operate in this endeavour by earmarking funds required for research and innovation. “It will be a sad commentary if we allow our key areas of learning and research to suffer on account of lack of funding,” Justice Ramana said.
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Justice Ramana, who will be retiring next week, asked the graduating students to “build a democracy filled with vibrancy and idealism, where differences of identities and opinions are respected.”
Andhra Pradesh Governor and ANU Chancellor Biswabhusan Harichandan presided over the 37th and the 38th convocations of the university.