Thursday, April 7, 2011

Not in Praise of UGC

What do the bureaucrats do?

Among other things they increase the bureaucratic hurdles. Text books tell us that bureaucracy is the steel frame of democracy. That is half truth. One can trace many problems of democracy to bureaucracy.

But why talk of bureaucracy in the academic context?

Well the academic structure of the country is supervised by UGC. On the face of it this is an institution, the UGC, run and overseen by academicians. In reality many times the people at the helm of the affairs are those who have reached their, not because of their academic aptitude but their aptness in managing the bureaucracy. In name these people are academicians, they have the degrees and the required years of teaching and research but in reality they have managed these qualifications by, well, managerial means.

Now these people do one thing. They take decisions.

The next question to ask is whether their decisions can be of academic value? Can their decisions be useful for academics? Will these people fortify the academic structure of the country.

No. These people are singularly incapable of any such thing. If they had any knack of academics then they would have been doing that. They had the knack of climbing the ladder and climb they did. And then you have the knife in monkey's hand.

Two specific examples come to mind regarding their helpful decisions. One is the introduction of Refresher Courses for university teachers and the other is the recently introduced Course Work for Ph.D. students. Why are both of these ideas bad is something that we shall take up later on.