Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ram Guha on Real Universities

In a Current Science conversation (pdf) with Richa Malhotra:

You taught in various top ranking universities and institutes (Stanford University, University of California, Indian Institute of Science, etc.). What do you think is lacking in the Indian education system?

I think the Government of India made a serious mistake by taking scientific research out of universities into state-run laboratories post independence. This was compounded by the setting up of specialized institutes of technology and management. Universities that cultivate highquality research and teaching simultaneously in the sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, and in professional disciplines (such as law and medicine) are what India needed, and what it still needs. For a flourishing intellectual culture to develop, these varied disciplines need all to be taught (and researched) in a single campus whose colleges and departments offer both undergraduate and graduate instruction. I was fortunate in that I studied in the Delhi University of the 1970s, which came closest to replicating such an integrated experience.