Studying the varsity
Are Indian universities no longer centres of excellence? Have they failed to produce outstanding students and research? Since the IITs, though they are not known for pioneering innovations and research, are still seen as model institutions, the real issue is, is good research in social sciences occurring only in institutions outside universities?
Before we pass the verdict and agree with the government that our universities urgently require transfusion in the form of private funding, foreign universities and centres of research outside the universities, there are a few significant facts we need to note with regard to the changing landscape of the universities, particularly in the field of social sciences.
One, contrary to predictions of doom and crisis, in recent years the most prestigious universities from all over the world, Europe and America being the frontrunners, are coming to Indian universities seeking research collaborations with faculties in the social sciences. Many would like joint degree programmes and teaching, though the framework currently in place in India does not allow for that easily.
Two, research students registered for degree programmes in “foreign” universities regularly come for consultation and research guidance here. The number of such students is only increasing by the day. Three, graduate students from India, pursuing research abroad tend to perform extremely well and have high success rates.
Four, if one looks at the catalogue of any well established academic publishing house in India, a disproportionately high percentage
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