Theme: Recent Government policies that threaten liberal arts education in public universities
Government policies in question: Setting up of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA), an SPV to fund higher education, to facilitate entry of foreign universities
Perception of attacks on autonomy of Indian Institutes and the New Education Policy
Greater emphasis on technical education: The recent approval of the third phase of the Technical Education Quality Improvement Program by CCEA, long-term loans and structural adjustments in this field
Lack of quality indicators for foreign universities that can enter India
No pronouncement on the social justice mandate of public universities
Concerns regarding these govt policies: Failure to make the stakeholders from the academic community a part of the larger decision-making process
A technocratic approach which perceives education as a “trade commodity” or “service deliverable”
Assumption that bringing in foreign universities alone would drastically improve standards of education in India
No emphasis on the quality research undertaken in our public universities.
Failure to recognize the importance of liberal arts education e.g. its research on issues which have greater significance for the public like everyday experiences of corruption, child soldiers in conflict areas, etc.