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Two very significant news items caught my attention recently. One professor at MS University, Vadodara, Gujarat pasted ‘kimach’ (itching powder) on the Honorable Vice-chancellor’s seat. The occasion was the organization of a national seminar. The Vice-chancellor was naturally to be present. His seat was secretly pasted. As he sat on his chair, his body started itching. Unable to itch as much as he wanted, he had to leave the function in the middle. Later, an inquiry was ordered.

The investigations revealed that a disgruntled professor had pasted the itching powder. His grudge was that his application for promotion was turned down. He admitted having pasted the seat but he claimed that his real target was the Dean of his faculty and not the Vice-chancellor. The Vice-chancellor said that such behavior would not be tolerated. A complaint has been registered against the professor in question.
Now, my humble suggestion is not to jump to conclusions. One cannot for sure say that only the professor is at fault. With all the experience at my command of the wretched university politics in India, there is a fair chance of the professor having been victimized. No doubt, the professor has been mischievous. There could have been better ways to register his protest. It is also possible that his application might have been turned down for genuine reasons. But the episode underlines the health of varsities in our country.

The extent of distrust is there for all to see. Justice is a loooooong word. Redress of complaints is a distant dream. Often, there’s no way out. The people at the helm connive and the one at the receiving end is rendered helpless.

The second instance that caught my eye was from Bihar. The girls of a girls’ college went on rampage because administration prevented them from cheating. The ‘great’ girls wanted to write their papers by copying. When ‘the privilege’ of cheating was denied, the girls got angry. The incident speaks volumes about the mind-set of our people. How can anyone improve the system when there’s no social will for it? It’s time we raised our expectations from ourselves. It’s time we did the right thing. It’s time we shunned the short cut.

Apart from the obvious humorous side to these incidents, there’s an important message in them. Itching Vice-chancellors and bench-throwing girls are hilarious scenes. But behind these hilarious scenes, there’re lines to be read and understood.

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Comments on this Blog

Comment The health of our universities are very poor. The incidents, quoted by the Prof. Tewari are worth pondering. I think political interference must stop in our educational temples. It is high time to think over this issue. WSS

Shailbala Misra.
03/13/2013 07:25 AM

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