Veteran Parliamentarian LK Advani’s interview with The Indian Express is matter of deep introspection. Three decades of coalition, bad in patches, did give us growth, though with Left-leaning inclusiveness. It also gave us an amorphous political ethos that tolerated laxity in governance and moral benchmarks. A return to a majority government circa 2014 with a tally of 343 may well remind us of 1971 and Indira Gandhi with 352 seats. Her PM secretariat that promoted a committed bureaucracy may resonate in today’s PMO. There is an apprehension, Advani has said the same in as many words, what happened overnight then could now sneak in instalments. Weakening of institutions cuts at the roots of a free nation’s democratic bulwarks. It took an year to position the CIC and CVC. IITs and IIMs seem to have directors of uncertain tenures. Why even the Lok Sabha has no designated leader of opposition, signalling disregard for a contrary view. A nation pursuing growth to match people’s aspirations can ill-afford to ignore dialogue/debate on desirable socio-political course-corrections. Should things go amiss in default, the plunge will be abysmal, damages enormous and repairs prolonged and difficult.
R Narayanan, Ghaziabad
Lessons for HRD ministry
Apropos of the editorial “Wrong lessons” (FE, June 22), it is correct that be it the Times Higher Education rankings or the OECD’s PISA rankings, Indian universities don’t figure very high globally. Compare that to China whose universities are increasingly finding repute globally. As pointed out, it is the autonomy of higher education institutions that is a prerequisite for enabling them to achieve their goals and objectives. We hope the officials at the HRD ministry read the recommendations of a 2005 report of a committee of its own—the Central Advisory Board of Education.
Manish Saxena, Gurgaon
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