Interview with ex-member academic council, Delhi University
Interview with Member Academic Council, Dr. A.N.Jha
Why is the performance of DU so poor at the global level?
I don’t agree. We have resource crunch. If you calculate the number of students and the time we have to give for correction of notebooks, you will find we are working overtime with no reward just because we are committed to the cause of education.
The DelhiUniversity is endowed with resources, history, glorious alumni. You can generate resources from the industry, from alumni donations, and from various other sources?
We are teachers. Our job is to teach and not beg in the market.
None the less you cannot deny that the best university in India has not produced a single Nobel laureate. Some of the best professors of DelhiUniversity achieved excellence only when they migrated to an outside university. There must be some barriers to global achievement when working from here?
We have had best teachers with best talent who were legendary in their discipline. I know there are universities and institutions abroad from where you have had 30 to 35 Nobel laureates, such as London School of Oriental Studies. The figure would be very high in Harvard, MIT, and Princeton. That is because of racial discrimination against us. The western lobby that awards, rates and ranks is a closed system that doesn’t easily allow entry to non-westerns. However, I don’t deny that there are glaring defects in our system. The universities in India, and especially the DelhiUniversity is too much politicized. It is difficult to get a teaching appointment in the DelhiUniversity without political backing. You need to have a political affiliation before being a teacher. There is a problem of perpetual absenteeism among some teachers.
How do you rate the quality of research in your university?
The standard of science research is excellent in our university.
But you lag way behind compared to the world class universities?
I don’t see why we need to compare to the west. We should focus on Indo-centric model of research if we want to excel in education.
The DelhiUniversity still provides cheapest education to the students many of whom will never make any use of this education or contribute significantly to the economy in same proportion. Only when you put price to education, its value can be acknowledged?
Education and health should be the responsibility of state. The health sector is in a very poor shape today. There are few good hospitals beyond the means of a significant majority in India. We do not want education to meet the same fate. We believe every one should have access to quality education. Putting a price to education will deny access to deserving and genuine students who cannot afford to pay.