New Delhi, Jan 31 : A US educator has taken exception to the recent violence in the Jawaharlal Nehru University, saying it was incumbent upon authorities to know the root cause of discordance on the campus.
'This is necessary to prevent such violence on the campus in the future as learning and violence do not go together', Vassar College president Elizabeth H. Bradley said. Vassar college, one of the top liberal arts institutions in US, has been exploring the opportunities to expand its network in India and subsequently contribute to its existing education system through liberal arts. She said she was really appalled when she heard about the violence against students or faculty and could guess when the students decided to pack up and leave any institution that “makes my heart ache”.
It was terrifying if the authorities could not keep the campus safe, she said in an interview to a News Agency. Stating that there was no bar to stage a protest or to carry out a political activity on the campus in US, she said that nonprofit institutions were, however, not allowed to advocate or take sides on political views. 'However, we get all students to vote, allow them to be pretty political and they can protest and they do protest', she added.
Referring to President Trump's executive order of anti-Semitism, Ms Bradley said it was a very important concept and did not establish any new regulations or law as those were already on the books that the people could not be discriminated against on the basis of their nationality and race etc. "So it did underscore the fears about their being more and more anti-Semitism globally and how colleges need to eliminate or mitigate anti-Semitism on the campus. Even as the US endorsed the academic freedom fully, that is the freedom for both the faculty and the students, she said that “if there are any discriminatory actions, there will be consequences for that because we cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind.
' Replying to a question, she said that anybody found possessing the gun on the campus in the US stood suspended, adding her college is in New York state which has the toughest prohibitive gun laws in the country. Vassar College, a private liberal arts college based in Poughkeepsie, New York, has no tie up with any educational institution in India at present. The College, among the top liberal arts colleges of the United States, is looking at contributing to India’s education system. "We would like to explore how we might work with institutions that are already here rather than start new ones ourselves”, Ms Bradley said, adding the college would like to collaborate with existing institutions particularly some IIMs and IITs in the faculty exchange programme to start with. India, too, was focussing on implementing the new education policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population's requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to become a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry. Liberal arts is an under graduate programme in which a student studies many topics. The students take courses in many different fields and later choose what they want to do. They will study more about humanities, arts, social science and will do multi disciplinary work as well, Ms Bradley said. (UNI)