Its editorial is very positive.
At the root of the word, ‘science’, is the idea of knowledge. It is important to remember this when education in India seems to be forgetting the crucial distinction between pure learning and the teaching of skills or the practical application of classical systems of knowledge. So when a premier centre of advanced science research like Bangalore’s Indian Institute of Science thinks up an undergraduate course in the classical sciences, then it is time to start feeling somewhat reassured. To create a broad and high-calibre foundation in the basics of pure science, mathematics and engineering, rounded off with training in the rudiments of research is a solid idea.
It goes on to make a larger point -- which I agree with, entirely -- that our universities should get on board the undergraduate train:
But it is not enough to create such pockets of pure learning only in a few well-funded institutes. The country’s best universities also need to become centres of classical learning and research, with their faculty compensated and encouraged similarly for this to happen. This is not an elitism-versus-accessibility issue at all, but one of resurrecting universities as centres of learning. In fact, some would argue that burdening advanced research institutes with undergraduate teaching may not be an entirely good idea, and that universities are the best places where this kind of teaching ought to be strengthened. But young learners and advanced scientists could also challenge one another in ways that could benefit both.
The editorial ends with a strong pitch for humanities:
Moreover, this move towards high-quality options for pure learning should not remain confined to the sciences. It is only when the role of the humanities in themselves is also recognized in a similar way, and not merely as a humanizing supplement to a scientific education, that Indian higher education will attain the proper balance that it risks losing now.
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An otherwise un-controversial editorial is marred by this unfortunate remark buried in it:
When the majority of the best minds in science tend to move towards turning themselves into techno-coolies, one hopes that the creation of such opportunities will produce other forms of excellence in Indian higher education.
This says something about the general disrespect that the editorial team has for coolies -- techno or otherwise. Celebrating "the idea of knowledge" should be possible without harboring such thoughts about people's choices, no?