The pro vice-chancellor of Nagpur University, Pramod Yeole, thought it apt when he compared the Internet and what it is for the youth of today as an educator, to Dronacharya, and Eklavya’s making of an idol of his so that he may learn the skill of archery. However the great thing here is that the Internet doesn’t have you worrying about biases against caste or even the concept of guru dakshina, or a boon granted to the guru in return for their teachings. The Internet for the first time is really and truly a democratised placed for education that is free from all such discrimination.
This excerpt is from Yeole’s speech at the 19th annual convocation ceremony of the Government Polytechnic College, Sadar. The event saw the awarding of seven hundred and twenty-five diplomas to students who had graduated from the College that year. The pro Vice Chancellor spoke about how since the freedom of India, the country has seen its progress take place through a few different steps. Originally the wealth and power rested with the zamindars or land owners, later on the industrialists took on this mantle of money and power, and later still were politicians to become those who held great influence. However, now it is the turn of the educated and knowledgeable. The infamous Nobel laureate from India Amartya Sen had very famously said that the key to India’s growth lay in nothing but education, education and education.
Talking on an issue that many have been bringing too light of recent, Yeole spoke about how among the top 200 universities in the world according to several rankings, Indian institutions do not feature anywhere. He said, like many others these days, has urged the government as well as the people to find out exactly why this is and see to it that our institutions are raised to standards of global approval. The education in universities in India should be guided by innovation, since the quantity of education provided in India is great but the quality is extremely poor. The once noble profession of Teaching has now appeared to have lost its lustre. The antiquated and ancient concepts that prevail on learning must be replaced with more modern and interesting ones.
Yeole was of the opinion that the realms of academia and industry must overlap more and they should, in fact, think of each other as the opposing sides of a coin. This would mean that there would be greater interaction between the two and he felt that this would only end up benefitting the education system in the country in amazing ways. He spoke to students on the importance of continuing to learn way past degrees and marks and simply for the joy of gaining knowledge itself. He told students to think of their degrees as nothing more than a stepping stone towards future achievements. The issues of food, money and shelter are ones that most students don’t have to worry about at this age, and he said to use that empowerment to educate oneself powerfully.
The speech was also highlighted with talks of more and more implementation of things like an outcome-based syllabus which has the students best interests as well as grasping ability in mind. It is through unique practices and the utmost standards of quality that institutions like The Government Polytechnic College among others has been able to consistently produce great graduates.