The last issue of The New Leam has received an enormous response from our readers. Your regular feedback and critical observations are really helpful for bringing out every new issue on various topics related to education and culture.

From the last three years, The New Leam is constantly publishing issues relating to education and culture and firmly believes that there is an urgent need for innovation in the field of education. Over the last couple of years we have realised that the circumstances around us are often quite hostile and resistant to creativity and innovation. The government’s political agenda and mandatory application of stringent regulations is severely affecting the autonomy, creativity, and diversity of education in India.

In last few years major changes have been stirred up, many rules and regulations are forcefully implemented in educational institutions challenging their potentiality for excellence, their academic cultures and imposing some sort of a narrow and regimented orientation in the name of education… Their seems to be a dominant and widely accepted discourse of education which prioritizes only specific skill based courses suitable for the market and negates and devalues all other branches of knowledge. Moreover, a very mechanical, pro-establishment handling of educational courses and syllabus has often impinged upon the secular, diverse, universal messages implicit in education. This has begun to therefore pose a threat not only to the kind of education popularly accepted but also to the very purpose that this education is seen to serving for society at large.

We all are aware that there are only a few institutions for higher education in the country that stand for excellence in the field of Liberal Arts and the Humanities but today the government approaches such courses as being irrelevant/watage and therefore strongly advocates market-oriented courses only. That’s why a number of professional courses in engineering and management are now being introduced in institutions of higher education which had erstwhile thrived on its Social Science courses throughout the country. While we are not opposed to the expansion of technical/industry based courses but what we are trying to assert and make clear here is the fact that in the absence of Humanities and Liberal Arts our nation will also suffer and its repercussions will be felt widely in fields ranging from development, politics, arts, cinema and also in terms of the development of human consciousness, ethics, aesthetics and so on. Therefore the complete denial and step motherly attitude towards these disciplines must be problematized within the larger context of education in the country.

To further degenerate the status of Humanities and to demotivate the existing students and faculty functions we see how a hostile environment is being created through the adoptation of new rules and policies like mandatory attendance, fee hike, bureaucratic obligations, surveillance and nepotism in fresh appointments and so on.

In such an ambience many may free to acknowledge the critical observations that have been made above however I request you to critically examine, analyse and observe the existing circumstances for a clarity of thought. In every issue of the The New Leam we want our readers to take their observations to a higher level and collectively raise the debate on themes relating to education. We hope that the issue you are holding in your hand is able to raise many dimensions and discourses related to education. We believe that many responses and reflections from your part will enlighten us on such an important issue.

– Vikash Sharma

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