Yahuda Elkana [Ex-Hebrew U and TAU] now President & Rector, Central European U, Budapest
'Varsity curriculum should reflect social realities'
The Times of India
HYDERABAD: The Indian government should concentrate on developing a curriculum for universities that suits its citizens, said holocaust survivor and political scientist, Yahuda Elkana. Elkana, who was in the city on Tuesday, was giving a lecture at Centre for Economics and Social Sciences(CESS) on 'Democracy and Education'.
He said that a curriculum that concentrates on both traditional and current aspects of science and social sciences should be introduced in universities. Starting from undergraduate level, the curriculum should reflect on everyday realities of the society, he added.
He said that a connection should be drawn between the traditional subjects which are taught rigorously in universities and everyday issues like poverty and climate change. "The purpose of universities is not to create a workforce. But the universities should aim to build a liberal and democratic citizen for the society," said Elkana, 77.
According to the theoretician, the Indian government is setting up universities across the country spending huge funds, but what remains unnoticed is the lack of proper curriculum to teach the millions of students joining higher educational institutions. He said that "what should be taught in universities should be developed first".
Also, most universities of the country copy curriculum of successful European and US universities. "The knowledge that has to be propagated through universities in the country should be based on socio-economic realities of its citizens," he added.
A holocaust survivor, who came out of Nazi ( Auschwitz) concentration camps, Yehuda Elkana said that he is against Israel's occupation of Palestine. "When I came out of the camp and settled in Israel I had decided that what happened in Nazi Germany should never happen to Jews again. At the same time, I wished that the same brutality should not be unleashed on others. And hence, I believe that Palestinians should be protected from Israel's occupations as the violence is no less brutal than Nazi occupation," said Elkana. According to him, Palestinian suicide bombers and Israeli occupants are born out of the same mould.