Characteristic of the pedestrian attitude of educational authorities in this country to the question of reorganising the entire educational system to make it suitable to our present requirements, is the report of yet another expert committee recommending that general education courses be introduced in the Universities. In the past one decade, the University degree has undergone considerable devaluation because of widespread unemployment among the degree-holders and the deterioration in scholastic standards. The Bhagavantham Committee’s suggestion that general education should have a special syllabus for the three-year degree course has presumably been made on the pessimistic assumption that we cannot hope for a better prepared entrant to the Universities who while pursuing advanced education in his chosen subjects, is also civilised enough to understand the world’s problems generally….Apart from giving publicity to some of the stunning answers provided by examinees to simple questions, little or no effort has been made to apply the corrective…As we have often pointed out, there can be no piecemeal solution of our educational problems. The disappointment of the Public Service Commission with the standards of our graduates cannot be obviated even if the Universities were to insist on a general knowledge quiz before awarding their degrees. It is within every one’s knowledge that the young man preparing for any of the slection examinations to the services today arms himself with readymade “general knowledge” secured out of ill-prepared and superficial compilations. A general knowledge sylllabus in our circumstances will only make this penny-in-the slot approach to knowledge respectable…..
(EDIT, August 30, 1956.)