Prevent exploitation in the field of education: former judge

“One of the urgent needs is to educate people of the Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The Constitution with all its appropriate provisions for the uplift of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is a meaningful inspiration for the educationists of today,” said Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, former judge of Supreme Court, here on Monday.

At the 25 convocation of Avinashilingam University for Women, he said that the founders of the Constitution had laid great stress on education in Article 45 – that the State should endeavour to provide within a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution, free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14.

“The authors honestly believed that within 10 years the problem of educating the under-privileged would have been solved. But the problem now has assumed a greater proportion than what it was to start with, creating in its wake disharmony among various castes, communal frenzy and casteism. It is in the hands of our educationists to find a solution to the problem of educating the downtrodden,” the former judge said.

Pointing out the acts of some “unscrupulous people”, Justice Lakshmanan said that these individuals, who do not have any interest in the cause of education, turned educational institutions into money spinners. They start educational institutions without obtaining necessary recognition from the Government and the university concerned. “It is the duty of each one of us to prevent such exploitation in the field of education. Action has to be taken on proliferation of colleges with ill-intent and growing trend of commercialisation.”

Lamenting on the failure of the country in achieving complete literacy and success in the field of education, he said it was further disheartening to note that 276 million women remained illiterate.

Representation of women

“The representation of women has never gone beyond eight per cent in Parliament, 10 per cent in State Assemblies and 13 per cent in the Council of Ministers. In the total workforce, women representation did not exceed 23 per cent. Even in the judiciary, only three per cent of the judges are women. Though Women’s Reservation Bill, providing for 33 per cent reservation for women in legislature, was introduced after much difficulty, it could not be passed,” he said.

T.S.K. Meenakshisundaram, Chancellor of the university, presided over the ceremony and gave away the degree certificates to candidates. Sheela Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of the university, presented the annual report.