Kerala: Professor Quits After HRD Asks PhDs Only To Be On Topics Related To ‘National Priority’

The Logical Indian Crew Kerala

March 25th, 2019 / 6:11 PM

Kerala Professor Quits CUK

Image Credits: News18

On March 13, a circular was issued by the CUK (Central University of Kerala), Kasargod after getting a mandate from the Ministry of Human Resource Department that while doing PhDs, research students should take up those topics for their thesis that are in accordance with ‘national priorities’. The circular further said that PhD would be allowed to select topics from a shelf of topics prepared by each department.

After the circular was issued in CUK, Dr Meena T. Pillai, a professor of the Institute of English and Director of Centre of Cultural Studies at the University of Kerala resigned from the Board of Studies in English and Comparative Literature on March 20, to mark her protest against the decision. The circular and Dr Pillai’s subsequent resignation has caused a lot of hue and cry in the student community and public.


“Need an atmosphere where one can think freely”

While talking to News18, Dr Pillai said, “The circular issued in the university focused on three important points. Firstly, it stated that the research has to be curtailed to the areas of national priorities. Secondly, the research in irrelevant areas will not be allowed. And thirdly, the students have to choose from the list of projects that the faculty would prepare.”

According to Dr Pillai, a research student needs an atmosphere where he/she can think freely and ask any questions. But, as a result of the mandate, free thought will be completely destroyed which is against the spirit of education, she opines. People should think of education before voting in the forthcoming elections, she added. Further, she said that in a time where our country’s education system must progress, this move is like bringing a feudal system in it. She said that budging to such circulars would mean that in future those in power who dictate younger generations on what and how to think. 

Citing an example where NCERT has removed an entire chapter related to breast cloth revolt, an important facet of the history of Kerala, Dr Pillai said that certain kind of history is being erased as it is not considered as a subject of national importance by a handful, while this very thing forms an important part of the history for the people of Kerala.


CUK’s clarification

CUK reportedly issued a ‘clarification’ on the earlier notice released on March 13. The clarification said that the term national priority referred to research that is useful to society and is socially relevant. The Vice-Chancellor of the University is yet to comment on the issue, The Indian Express reported. However, an unconvinced Dr Pillai said there is a difference between national interest and social relevance and that if the university has to come up with multiple interpretations, “they might as well withdraw the circular”.

The university described Dr Pillai’s resignation as a political stunt. 

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on March 24 slammed HRD Minister Prakash Javedkar for putting a restraint on PhD topics by calling him a ‘self-attested wise minister’ on his Facebook account. He posted that –



Shashi Tharoor, an Indian politician and writer also tweeted saying that –



Also Read: From 2021, PhD Degree Compulsory To Teach In Universities: HRD Ministry


Contributors

Written by : Jasmine Kaur (Intern)

Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi

Related Stories

Rahul Gandhi Calls It Quits, Search For The New Face Of Congress Underway

MEA Passport Electronic Chip

Chip-Enabled E-Passports On Government’s Priority List: External Affairs Minister

President Says NRC On Priority Basis

NRC To Be Implemented On Priority Basis, Says President; Additional NRC Draft Excluding More People To Be Out Soon

Kerala Professor Quits CUK

Kerala: Professor Quits After HRD Asks PhDs Only To Be On Topics Related To ‘National Priority’

ABVP Professor Apologize

[Video] MP: ABVP Workers Call Professor “Anti-National”, Professor Apologizes By Falling At Their Feet

CBSE Wanted Teacher Eligibility Test To Happen In 3 Languages Only, HRD Minister Overrules It

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Exclusive: A Tale Of Suppression, Torture, Murder Of Hindus Living In Pakistan’s Ghotki

Get Inspired

Darshan Singh, A Farmer Who Is Using Youtube To Answer Agriculture Queries

News

“National Register Of Citizens, Not National Register of Assam”: Amit Shah Reiterates No Illegal Immigrant Will Be Spared In India

Exclusive

Indian Athletes Make Country Proud In Canada, 16-Year-Old Wins Four Gold In Powerlifting

News

India Top Source Of Immigrants In the World, Desi Diapora Touches 17.5 Million

Get Inspired

Amit Panghal Scripts History, Becomes First Indian Boxer To Win Silver At World Boxing Championship Final

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.