This article is written by Aditya Mudgal (BA.LL.B. Class of 2020)
Whether a wall may be strong or weak, it is made up of bricks. A society stable or unstable is made of people. To make the strongest wall in the world you need the bricks to play their part well. You need the best bricks. To make a stable society you need educated people. A stable society is the ideal humans have been pursuing from the time unknown. Educated humans in a society are indispensable for its existence.
In today’s world, people actually don’t have much option other than to rely on universities for education since it has created such an institution of itself.
With India being one of the most populated country in the world, a great population creates a great demand for resources and competition. With demand for resources comes the race to provide resources. With competition comes the capitalist self. Such segmentation leads to a poor quality of citizens and undeveloped society.
It is pretty clear that well educated people get employed for sure thus correlating education to not starving one to death. In such a mess with quality resources only for some and fierce competition it is pretty necessary for anyone to be educated.
So talking about present day India’s institutions, the story is weird and complicated. With students the institutions are also in a race to provide employment and not education. With such a high demand comes great money and with great money comes commercialization. Private institutions in India have commercialized a very basic need of the society.
I never knew what commercialized education was until I visited the financial centre of India that is, Mumbai. I had heard a lot about the institutions under the banner of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Science but I did not know what the reality was.
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Science or NMIMS is the very example of such a commercialized channel of education. What came to my surprise first was how there are twenty seven colleges in one building. That kind of also answered my question as to when I was googling images of NMIMS School of Law I did not get satisfying results. But I don’t get a lot of things about NMIMS and SVKM still and here is the list:
- How did the planner convey to the architect that we need a plan to make approximately twenty seven colleges in one building?
- Do students need glass lifts and other fancy stuff more than a better faculty?
- How did the planner envisage to maintain student’s health without providing absolutely any sports facility?
- When there can be glass lifts, automatic doors and plastic gardens in a building, why aren’t sufficient steps taken to provide something as basic as affordable accommodation to students when, from years, more than half of the student population is from other cities than Mumbai?
Coming back to education let us take the case of NMIMS School of Law. School of Law is run by NMIMS with a plan to dish out the best lawyers in the country. I do not disagree. Even the students coming in want to be the best lawyers in the country but sometimes it does not matter what you want but matters is how you want. The question is as to how?
The college is more of a training ground than an educational institution. The college seeks to create lawyers with high CGPA and suppressed mindset. The college seeks to create students who do not question authority above them and just work when they are told to because they are being paid for it. It is the corporate culture at its best. Here success is a big thing excellence is not.
I am an ardent believer in the notion that a college atmosphere is the one where new ideas and innovations should crop out. It is the place where people find themselves and become the best they should be and that is only possible when they are allowed to do things freely. It is only possible when they are not touched by anything else than life itself because it is the biggest teacher. I feel that a college institution should be valued upon what kind of channels it provides to its students to become the best they can rather than valuing colleges over the packages that students score after it. Anyway, if a student scores an exemplary package that is not because the college trained him well, it is because the student was born for the field he was studying there. Also such packages as are rare anywhere. There are a lot of people who find what they want to be in college. There are a lot of famous example like Anil Kumble who is one of the most celebrated cricketers of all time, started playing in college. Had he been in NMIMS School of Law, he would had been advised by the faculties and college indirectly to focus on law more so that he can earn a beautiful salary for rest of his life. The thing is, that these choices as to what you need to do are very subjective and can prove disastrous or wonderful for anyone’s life. Your work consists a major part of your life.
The question can be how a college hinders the path you want to choose? The moment you tell students to sit in class in a particular manner, to look at the faculty in a particular manner, to talk to anyone in a particular manner, to wear a uniform, not give them enough freedom to operate their clubs and societies, to create permission for nearly everything that students need to do, to tell them what and how everything is to be done, to not be open to creativity in projects and stick to the instructions that are given to you by someone who is a authority over you, when you make them suffer assuming that they’ll suffer later so why not practice that before hand to assume that students are irresponsible, stupid and barbaric and the last as to not practically evaluate your own policies and be rigid about them.
It might be the difference of ideology between me and the authorities. Every administration works with a balance of stick and lenient and rigid and flexible. I don’t think college administration has to work with a stick if the administration is cogent enough to make its students understand the importance of any law. Though you need a stick somewhere in the process but you should know the practical implication of your actions and try to be more understanding. The key is always to strike a balance. Have rigid law but be flexible enough when they have to. Have the guts to argue and convince your own students for anything. After all it is all about the students. You don’t know for sure that everyone who comes out of this college will wear white and black or not.