Dr. Ramadoss - Leader of the "most backward" condemns TN Education Policy
TN often portrayed as the paradise of caste-based social justice has recently won encomiums from the nation's top political leaders for its advances in the field of education ( See the news in the bottom). Many social justice enthusiasts have also pointed out to the wonderful features of TN achieved as a result of hundred years of caste-based social justice policies of inclusion and exclusion. But Dr. Ramadoss, the leader of PMK, a party claiming to represent the "most backward" does not agree with the assessment that TN has made great strides in education. Recently in a speech reported in a section of the media he has said the following: · The TN government's higher education policy, including creation of private universities, will ultimately make higher education inaccessible to the poor; · The number of students pursuing higher education in TN was just 6.4 percent whereas number of students pursuing higher education at national level was 12.4 per cent; · Despite the existence of over 350 professional colleges in the TN State, condition of higher education in TN was very pathetic. 80% (Eighty per cent) of students admitted to self-financing professional colleges were from other States. · Several girls had discontinued education after higher secondary since several districts did not have higher education facilities; · He has demanded that the Department of Higher Education of TN should conduct a survey of number of Tamil students admitted to private professional colleges to assess real benefits enjoyed by students; ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 12.09.08 Ramadoss assails higher education policy 12.09.08 Staff Reporter "Only the people who have money will get admission in professional colleges"
THENI: The State government's higher education policy, including creation of private universities, will ultimately make higher education inaccessible to the poor. Only the people who have money will get admission in professional colleges, according to S. Ramadoss, Pattali Makkal Katchi founder. To assess real benefits enjoyed by students, the Department of Higher Education should conduct a survey of number of Tamil students admitted to private professional colleges, Dr. Ramadoss told reporters here on Thursday. Number of students pursuing higher education at national level was 12.4 per cent whereas it was just 6.4 per cent in the State, Dr. Ramadoss claimed. Despite over 350 professional colleges in the State, condition of higher education was very pathetic. 80% (Eighty per cent) of students admitted to self-financing professional colleges were from other States. Theni district had neither government engineering college nor an arts college for women. Several girls had discontinued education after higher secondary. The government should start a women's college immediately, he said. Condemning acute power crisis, he said the PMK would stage demonstration before district and taluk headquarters on September 16 demanding resignation of Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veeraswami. http://www.hindu.com/2008/09/12/stories/2008091260840800.htm
India must combine inclusion and excellence: Manmohan Priscilla Jebaraj ,September 6, 2008: The Hindu
SPECIAL HONOUR: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi receiving the honorary doctorate from Governor and University of Madras Chancellor Surjit Singh Barnala at the sesquicentennial year special convocation of the University, in Chennai on Friday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (right) and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi also were conferred honorary doctorates. Others in the picture are Vice-Chancellor S. Ramachandran (left) and Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy.
CHENNAI: “An innovative India must combine both inclusion and excellence and it is wrong to see them as two separate and contradictory goals," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, accepting an honorary doctorate from one of the pioneers of Indian education, the University of Madras.
Marking the end of its 150th year celebrations on Friday, the university held a special convocation to confer honorary doctorates on Dr. Singh, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella.
Dr. Singh pointed out that the Indian civilisation had always been a land of learning, giving birth to scientific ideas, ancient languages, great religions, literature and art. “If there was one fault with that culture, it was that opportunities for learning were not available to all. Today we can say with pride that democratic India is making determined efforts to extend this right to all our citizens," he said.
He rebuked critics who “focussed on short-term problems and on issues pertaining to access to what is presently available." He felt that attention should instead be devoted to “growth and development and to the challenge of a multi-fold expansion of opportunities." Such expansion should not compromise on quality, but should still ensure access, he said.
“Tamil Nadu ahead"
Mr. Karunanidhi noted that Tamil Nadu had led the way in opening the access gates by spearheading reservation in education for the backward communities. This had provided a ladder of social and economic advancement for the poor and downtrodden, he said.
Ms. Gandhi praised the Tamil Nadu example, saying it proved the potent force of education in social transformation and showed how expansion could go hand in hand with quality. “This is a lesson for the country, especially for those States now seeing the social revolution that Tamil Nadu saw in the early 20th century," she said.
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