The letter to the UGC Chairman

Bhaskar Majumder

This letter was written in response to the letter No. F No 1-4/2020 (CM) dated 11th April, 2020 of UGC Chairman on 12th April 2020. But, no response/acknowledgment was received till date. So, it is being circulated through Frontier.

from: Bhaskar Majumder
Professor of Economics
G. B. Pant Social Science Institute
Allahabad – 211019

The Chairman
University Grants Commission
New Delhi – 110002.

Dear Sir
This has Ref. to your letter No. F No 1-4/2020 (CM) dated 11th April, 2020. Needless to mention, our country is in grave crisis due to the pandemic of Covid19. The long-term vision of the Ministry of Higher Education, Government of India, in this situation needs to be appreciated for it has rightly drawn attention of the teachers of India to the time that is probably lost due to the national lockdown period that has forced the people of our country to be confined to their houses. I feel humbled to make the following suggestions in this context:

  1. Education, as the intellectual base of the nation that also empowers the state vis-a-vis the rest of the world, needs no confined space though infrastructure has been constructed for interactive contact hours between the donors and receivers of education.
  2. Following the vision of world-poet Ravindranath Tagore education could be open-door open-window also.
  3. Technology helps in the interface but its value gets constrained for the students who need direct face-to-face interaction based on pragmatic approach. This is my opinion based on my teaching experience in Universities and Institutes in a number of states of India over the past four decades.
  4. More than contact hours what matters more for students is the quality time teaching and thought-content interaction.

Based on the above very brief views for your kind consideration, I propose the following:

  1. Rather than imposing any particular technique, the individual teacher may be allowed to select the technique that s/he feels comfortable with.
  2. Group emails may be generated immediately for different layers and levels of students and the concerned teachers should be the administrators of these groups.
  3. Each teacher may be asked to submit what s/he contributed to the cause of education that includes not only teaching by contact hours but also research by articles published, books published, M.Phil.-D.Phil. scholars guided as may be evident from the output of the scholars, occasional/working/technical papers published, papers reviewed for Journals/Books, theses examined and so on.
  4. Each teacher may also be engaged in support activities for generating social awareness like preparing posters to stop spitting in public space, gender sensitivity, maintaining social distance.

This may be the ideal time when intra-University and inter-University e-interaction can be used for developing altered content in education, which can help in uplifting the standard of both the teachers and the students for developing a vision for the future.

In my opinion, education cannot be forced and whatever is forced is not real. I also strongly believe that humanity is the basis of all education-contents. I stand on the axis of teaching-research fraternity and offer my services subject to my capacity.

Warm regards

Yours sincerely

(Bhaskar Majumder)

  Bhaskar Majumder, Professor of Economics, G. B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad - 211019

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Jul 9, 2020

Prof. Bhaskar Majumder

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