ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Democratising Universities

The editorial “Democratise the University!” (EPW, 4 October 2014) draws attention to the struggles of the student community in the university set-up. I am very much convinced with the view that university administrations should actively encourage student participation in university affairs. The point on the absence of internal democracy within the university is thought-provoking in the contemporary situation. Globalisation and privatisation have brought in significant changes in the system of education. These processes have played a major role in the transmission and creation of knowledge in Indian society. However, university education should be understood in terms of the functions it performs in society. Holding demonstrations against the university administration is a step taken by the student community to minimise the disorder that our universities are going through today.

Universities as centres of learning are facing a crisis of communication with the student community. This is by and large true for most of the modern educational institutions. Due to university/administrative restrictions, students find themselves isolated from socially important issues. As sociologist Emile Durkheim says, education creates consciousness and a sense of liberation in the individual. However, in today’s modern education system, the student assertion is restricted by the bureaucratic structure of the universities.

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