fifty years ago October 18, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (October 1, 1971): “Stress on degrees should go”

Ahmedabad, Oct. 17: Dr. Atma Ram, former Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, has called for a drastic change in the present educational system to make it more job-oriented. The present system laid stress only on the student’s acquiring a degree and not on skill and capacity. Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat had made economic strides by the skill of its workers and not by the degrees of the universities, he added while delivering the convocation address of the Gujarat Vidyapith here on October 15. While engineering degree-holders were not getting a job, there was acute shortage of skilled technicians in the industrial field. This paradox should be removed, he said. To make education more purposeful, it was essential that no “undue importance” was attached to degrees. In a developing country like India, importance should be given to small, industrial workers who could build huge projects. The university degree-holders, who were simply capable of criticising “the works of Kalidas and Shakespeare”, had no use for the country, he remarked.

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