Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: Supreme Court Judge Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan here on Saturday expressed concern over corporatisation of education saying it might create a divide between the poor and rich.

“The major consequence of the globalisation of education has been commodification and corporatisation of institutions of higher learning,” said Justice Chauhan while addressing 42nd convocation of Utkal University.

He said, “there is another, more serious, problem that comes with corporatisation of education. Corporations operate on the principles of cost reduction and profit maximisation. They are predicated on standardization and the packaging of product in compact, measurable, byte-like, configuration.”

“Applied to education, these approaches would possibly negate its basic spirit and purpose.

Education has always encouraged openness, inquiry, diversity, research and limitless learning.

Corporatization of education would make it elitist, leading to a duality, the one provided by corporations for the poor masses who cannot afford going to the traditional institutions of learning, and the other for the rich and affluent,” observed the Supreme Court judge.

Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, who is also the Chancellor of the Utkal University, echoed similar sentiments.

“We have to ensure literacy, we have to ensure that the education is accessible and is not out of reach for the poor and is not the monopoly of the elite, we have to ensure quality and fight mediocrity in our system of education,” Mr. Bhandare said.

Former Chief Justice of India Justice Gopal Ballav Patnaik, former Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court Leila Seth, renowned physician Sukumar Mitra and Indian classical instrumentalist Pundit Hariprasad Chaurasia were hounoured with honorary LL.D, D.Litt and D.Sc. Among others Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University Binayak Rath spoke on the occasion.