NAGPUR: One of the main reasons for the degrading quality of education in universities was that there was too much politics on campuses, noted astrophysicist Jayant Narlikar has said.
No university in the country is free from politics, Narlikar said while speaking at the convocation of Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University here yesterday.
Over 73,000 degrees, including PhDs, were conferred on the students at the ceremony, while 179 merit holders of various examinations were presented 438 medals and prizes, that included 294 gold, 42 silver and 102 bronze.
The university also bestowed the prestigious Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) on octogenarian Vasant Raipurkar, the former principal of a local college.
He also flayed private colleges overcharging capitation fees. "Who will help poor students who can't pay capitation fees? Will the state Chief Minister come to help such students by seeking contribution from the Centre?" Narlikar asked.
"In earlier times, scholars were given an important place by kings and queens in their kingdoms. But in recent times, those with money and power are given respect in society," he said.
"Even intellectuals have failed to earn respect as they live for themselves and don't want to work for the society. Research sector is also plagued by bureaucracy, red-tapism and lack of innovative attitude and creativity," he noted.
Urging the students to change this situation, he cited examples like that of Cambridge University, that has managed to keep up its quality and reputation even after 800 years of its existence. "This happens because it is very tough to get admission in this prestigious institution, only top brains can gain entry there," he said.
"Though everybody deserves a chance of getting education in democracy, intelligent students must be given advanced learning opportunities," he said.
The university's Vice Chancellor Siddharth Kane presided over the function.