The Top Universities’ list of Times Higher Education (THE) validates the efforts put in by various stakeholders in Indian education. In the latest list, comprising 980 top Universities globally,
we find 31 from India. The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore ranks the highest in India. It figures in the 201-250 band.
A place in the Top 100 or 200 list still eludes India. But we should also be encouraged by the increasing number of Indian Universities in the THE list itself. The founding fathers of modern Indian Infrastructure also need to be complimented for their contribution. We have pushed to make primary education more Universal to some extent. We have also tried to keep abreast of Higher Education, to some level.
Cool Chilli’s Comments
The history of the IISc is interesting. Indians owe much more to two sons of Mother India than they may realize. Jamshetji Tata laid the foundations of India’s Industrialization and Swami Vivekananda espoused the Universality of ancient Indian thoughts.
The ‘Tata’ Conglomerate has over the decades grown from strength to strength. It has become the symbol of a truly global Indian MNC, boldly acquiring marquee brands and businesses. Swami Vivekananda on the other hand, provided much succour to the Indian psyche. The psyche, sub-consciously bruised and warped by the new hankering for all things Western.
Western, though vested, may not have been Wasted
Western ideas and influence surely had some merit. India was among the top ten industrialized economies during Independence. We also have the much maligned Macaulay to be thankful for. He enabled a robust English-based system of education. The Spanish Conquistadors in contrast destroyed much of ancient South American Mayan knowledge in their missionary zeal. The right-wing may say the British played a far more subtler game. The English also did not have it easy in the far more diverse India. Spanish cunning and fire-power was more than enough against the Mayans. The British took a while to gain some political control over the sub-continent.
But the bottom line is that we Indians have ourselves to blame too. Mir Jafar betrayed Siraj-ud-daula, after Robert Clive bribed him. We had also ignored much knowledge of ancient India, by ignoring the science behind the same and retaining only the ritual aspects. Some documented knowledge like palm leaves or the like have also been lost or dissipated or cunningly whisked away. It is our hope that efforts like TKDL and the one by Rohan Murty, will help us recover things lost or hidden from the public domain. Maybe Western Governments or their Libraries or Personal Collectors would also contribute! We increasingly see governments/foreign entities giving treasures back to the country of origin. Aam, Amen, Ameeen!