Nurture students' strengths: Yash Pal

At a seminar here on the “Committee to Advise on Renovation and Rejuvenation of Higher Education,” organised by the Centre for Educational and Social Studies(CESS), Prof Yash Pal and vice chancellors from state universities and representatives from Higher Education Department  deliberated upon the various issues pertaining to universities.

About a query that he had received from a second grade student as to why air is invisible, Prof Yash Pal said that he took immense care to provide an understandable answer to the child.

He pointed out that, “In a typical classroom set up, if the student would have asked the same question about why air was invisible, teachers would not have explained it and would have brushed it off. Children are real teachers to adults. Teachers should learn to listen to children and nuture their interests”.

Prof Yash Pal remarked that the universities should be places where people gain knowledge. “Teachers have become so comfortable in universities, by writing for international journals or publishing papers that they feel there is no need to interact with people. This kind of approach is a malaise and centralised bodies have made this disease worse” he said.

MR Srinivasan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, who had formed the Education Task Force, pointed out that education is the least reformed activity in the country and that hopes were high for the Prof Yash Pal committee report to be implemented. 

“Central educational institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) should be given the liberty to establish their own curriculum and syllabi” Srinivasan added.

Former VC of Bangalore University, MS Thimmappa said that Prof Yash Pal’s report on Higher Education was indeed a revolution in education and added that education is far from being student oriented.

VB Coutinho, former VC, Gulbarga University remarked that the autonomy bestowed upon institutions was to meet the needs of the society and hence serious thinking about universities is required.

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