KOLKATA: The migration of students from West Bengal, where Renaissance started in the late 18th century, to Delhi and other centres of learning since the 60s was the result of an all-round decline triggered by "fiery political agitations", Prasar Bharati CEO Jawahar Sircar today said.
"The non-political student, researcher or teacher preferred to move away from the state rocked by regular bandhs, blockades, fiery agitations and declining standards of discipline," Sircar said.
Sircar was speaking at the annual convocation of the International Management Institute here today.
Speaking on the topic "Is Kolkata losing its charm as a knowledge centre?", the former principal secretary of Higher Secondary Education of West Bengal, regretted that the migration of students "actually increased after a stable government was installed in the state because higher education was clearly not its highest priority".
Tracing the reason for the migration of professionals and researchers, Sircar noted that this was because of the decline in the state's economy and consequent fall in revenue generation.
"Successive governments pampered the lower bureaucracy in both government and academic institutes to such an extent and at the expense of the institutions, that a large number of good professionals and researchers simply migrated to foreign countries in utter disgust," he alleged.
According to Sircar, other states pumped in money into their institutions and attracted the best available brains from different parts of the country including Kolkata, thereby strengthening their own centres of knowledge.
This meant that the comparative position of this metropolis started sinking with every passing year.
Sircar also alleged that in the last four decades the schism between different political beliefs has become "very acute".
English suffered as a medium of education for decades in West Bengal and this deprived even the most talented knowledge-hunters to find a footing elsewhere, according to Sircar.