A great person is one who affects the mind of new generation — Benjamin Disraeli
Prime Minister Modi’s motivational “Pariksha pe Charcha” is highly appreciable at a time when students are encountering challenges in the transition phase, mainly value systems across the globe. In this context, the PM’s direct talk to students is a kind gesture to exorcise the looming spectre of board examination-related quandary.
This process of acquisition of information is not yielding positive results and slowly turning a highly pious institution like education into a business venture, wherein success is measured by the material possession alone. As “perform or perish” is still deeply inscribed in the Indian social psyche, the student community is undergoing tremendous pressure from family, peers and society to obtain “good marks”. This marks morass sometimes goads those behind the curve into committing suicide. Therefore, the advice to parents against forcing their ambitions on the children illustrates Modi’s concern about the marks penchant.
Students’ success lies in contemplation about the possibility of timeless and endless hope in his/her capabilities. The Indian education system is known for embracing values and approaches that shape the creative urge of the student community. However, we all acknowledge the challenges that are posed by the increasing tentacles of the transitional phase. Although one cannot but admire ingenious display of rich contents by our traditional education set-up, the inexorable demands of competition is compelling the students to focus on contents.
At the higher education platform, a departure from the methodologies of many earlier existing education parameters, we need to provide a cutting edge and trans-disciplinary overview of the most crucial issues. Our education system always represented unique path of making each discipline one of the most exciting areas of contemporary life. Not every innovative attempt starts out with serious analytical interpretation of contemporary issues, therefore, unconventional attempts ought to be tried to put forward myriad exploration of ideas and topics in which each pupil can participate and display talent.
New education policy needs to provide insights on important issues concerning our society and its concerns. Sometimes, conceptual and scholastic argumentations and discussions result in the creation of exquisite ideas. Proper attention is required to be paid to judge the empirical and normative understanding of many variations that were found in constellations of various education reforms recommended by various commissions.
These constellations, to a great extent, reflect the real concern of our new generation. The past two decades have been marked by a period of substantial change in the contents and relevance of many disciplines. The purpose of education is to improve reasoning, observation and experimentation skill. The topics should be interesting, thought provoking and oriented towards reasoning, analysis and proper application. Recent developments have established new basis for understanding the changing nature of polity and community. The ongoing debates in contemporary politics have been dominated by the relationship between global, national and identity and politics. The purpose of the change in the policy is to provide a comprehensive view of politics and emphasise on the following main areas to make the subject more relevant: 1) To link theory to contemporary issues; 2) To link old issues to topical andpractical concern; 3) To develop a new analysis of various areas of concerns; 4) To demonstrate how market forces accept these issues; 5) To demonstrate how new models can be used in real-life experiments with democracy, environment, globalisation and governance; 6) To show how policies drive change; 7) To show the importance of applied research; 8) To demonstrate how we can make use of theoretical knowledge.
Therefore, the aim is to stimulate and disseminate the latest research and happenings at national and international arenas in different disciplines. Thus, issues such as diaspora, science, technology, engineering, fine arts, music, politics, global, local, civil society, organisations, problems of governance, alternative economic and political systems will be essential resources of comprehending and assessing various disciplines for all students. The catch is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary framework of knowledge to be the best in the world.
Although PM’s recent advice to students may appear to many seeing it through the political prism to be a construction of a social narrative, the apolitical real aim is to de-stress students and instill in the harbinger of new India a new urge to develop self-confidence.
(Author is with University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University Chandigarh. She is Branch Convener of Training and Placement Cell and E Cell Representative of her College at IIT Mumbai )