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

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The Great Education Divide

Bridging General and Professional Education

It is time to break the mythical divide between general higher education that raises consciousness, and professional education that is instrumental to employment and marketable research. 

Media discourses surrounding the events at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have revealed a sharp polarity in views on the meaning and purpose of higher education. Is public funded higher education in a developing country meant to produce thinking citizens or employable youth? Should taxes fund scholarship that has no impact, nor is market friendly, at least, in the short term? Is political activity on campuses a distraction from academic pursuits?

Each of these questions has pointed to a fundamental divide, or what seems to be a black and white choice between a higher education that raises consciousness and illuminates the horizon, and one that must be instrumental to employment and marketable research. In the Indian scenario it plays out through the increasingly unsustainable, and somewhat facile, divide between general higher education and what is known as professional education.

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