The university everywhere in the world is an important insti¬tution, for the advancement of the people. The traditional view of a university which was regarded as a place where students would carry on their scholarly activities and build themselves as intelle¬ctuals, isolated from rest of the society, has to be changed to a place where it becomes an institution fully conscious of the changes taking place in society and making due contribution to this change.
Universities in India have been functioning in the past under several pressures, viz., excessive specialisation, overcrowding, highly expensive organisations conflicting political interference, etc.
The fast development that is taking place in society, thus, makes university life complex. The student now finds himself a victim of sudden breaking of social ties—family, village and culture. He finds that his studie* have no roots in his own culture and his university education” based on foreign standards is cracking. No wonder, the student spreads among the youth. This unrest some¬times shakes the very freedom and integrity of the university itself The solution lies in better communion and understanding of the purpose of . university education among the teachers anil the tauelit and in the creation of a sense of community. Student”" and teachers are supposed to be mindful of the real pur¬pose of education and re-orient it to suit the changed conditions The university authorities should on their part, be careful not to assume that new techniques of teaching are good simply because thevarenew. Very often the craze for change in curriculum has ope’ned the flood gates of agitation, thus making nonsense of real education.
The university should give more prominence to new experi¬ments in education. There is great scope for consolidation between the teacher and the taught. Views and wishes of the students need to be given sympathetic consideration instead of being brushed aside as just foolish, excessive or unreasonable.
The present students’ unrest in the university campus can be attributed partly to the fact that the university education does not equip the graduate youth for any useful work, or make him an alert citizen, orthat it just satisfies certain socially acceptable standards. Education should be treated as a profession and teachers should be expected to adopt a professional attitude towards their work.The exi¬sting attitude of looking upon education as a mere interlude between childhood and real life of gainful employment should replace the attitude .of looking upon university education as an expensive, sub¬sidised apprenticeship helping students to acquire skills.
On the question of student-participation in university adminis-tration and proper functioning of the student unions, modern edu¬cationist emphasise that it should be permitted but subject to a num¬ber of improvements in the methods of election of office-bearers with a view to induce really capable students to get in. It is also proposed to seek diversification of the union’s activities so that they could become useful institutions and impart training to students in the art of maintenance and management of university administration, satisfying at the same time students’urge to participate in univer¬sity life. It would be most unfortunate to regard students as indisciplined and, therefore, to be kept away from responsi¬bility. It is high time that some kind of a committee, on national level, comprising students, teachers and eminent educationists is set up to involv’e a suitable machinery to implement educational policy. The universities set up a three-tier administrative machinery improve his lot. When universit.es will assumethis ^^”‘J of promoting knowledge as well as social welfare, all will be wen with the Indian nation and the Indian people. to receive, consider and remove student grievance without delay. Quite often it has been observed that even ordinary students pro¬blems like messing insanitary conditions in hostels, etc.. are not attended to causing, unrest backed by agitation.
Let it be .realised that men and women of student-age now come to adult life much earlier than their elders came in the past. The future of academic unity and the role of students thus need to be modified and modernised. Education is one of the most important employers in the country but it is unfortunately one of the few careers which continue to dole out only meagre salaries to the teachers.
There is a strong feeling that the old concept of a university is not adequate to meet the needs of the present-day society. Universities in the western countries are drawing out new ideas and experiments to meet the challenges of the modern world of science and technology, of explosion of knowledge and of consequent rapid changes in social life. This is even more necessary in the case of developing societies like India.
One important responsibility which the new universities have to assume relates to the development of programme of adult education for its alumni and for the improved categories of leader¬ship in various walks of life. In particular, the universities have 10 do something to educate the rural leadership which moulds the life of 80 per cent of the people, elects 80 per cent of the legislators. The future of the country largely depends on the correct under¬standing of the national problems by this rural leadership. The most effective agency to implement this programme are the Depart¬ments of Extension of Service in the universities.
Another task which a university has to undertake is service to society. There is need to realise that the maintenance of universities is a costly affair and the average Indian citizen , who is very poor makes a great sacrifice to support them. It is, there¬fore, our duty to serve. Every university should evolve itself deeply in the study of local, regional and national problems and assist in their practical solution. This need not imply any fall in academic standards ; rather this touching with reality will help to raise the quality. It will give the universities an opportunity to enable the students work and to participate in programmes of national service.
It is only when new ground is broken that the universities begin to make their real contribution to national development. It is true that the universities owe their allegiance, first and foremost, to truth but they also stand, as Nehru once said, for humanism any for progress. They should combine the intellect of a Shankra-charya with the compassion of a Buddha and their pursuit of truth should be accompained by a solicitude for the welfare of the common man of India and by a commitment and dedication to improve his lot.all will be well with the indian people and indian nation