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University as an Idea

Why are universities important?

1. University as an institution travel across regions/countries and transform themselves into an attractive idea for many.

2. They are not only physical structures, but institutions for ideas, which in turn embody in them universal human values.

3. They have sensitivity towards a creative mind and give concrete expression to both social and intellectual commitment.

4. It also has a commitment to allow diverse ideas to flourish and flow within and across its immediate institutional boundaries.

5. They promote a culture of dialogue and discussion and make young minds vibrant in the atmosphere of dissenting voices.

6. The university as an idea is the standard to measure the intellectual, moral and cultural height of a nation.

Which are the functions performed by universities?

1. Universities perform two normative functions

a) Institutionalizing value-laden ideas.

b) Housing and hosting those ideas.

2. Universities cultivate and nurture a creative mind that has a dual commitment to social causes and to incisive scholarship.

3. It encourages the student community to use their reflective mind instead of violence.

How significant are public universities?

1. Public Universities cater to the needs of the underprivileged students.

2. They provide platforms for underprivileged students to convert opportunities into assets.

3. They expand the social basis of scholarship thereby harmonizing the aggressive society with kind humanity.

What is essential for universities? 

1. Universities not only create space for dialogue and dissent, but also make that dissent universal.

2. Dissenting voices and dialogical spirits on university campuses are considered universal as it promises epistemic egalitarianism and social democracy, and the universal articulation of such promises.

3. So, the university authorities should have required sensitivity towards the life of the mind that is at the core of a university.

4. Any attempt to tamper with these promises is bound to generate legitimate forms of protests.

Where does the state come into picture?

1. The state as an entity should offer support and not seek subversion of the university.

2. It should stand above the narrow ideological orientation and commit to intellectual well being of educational institutions.

3. Without being indifferent to the aspirations of students and state needs to handle the student community with due care.

4. A morally sensitive state and university authorities are not expected to see in the student an enemy of the state or of the nation.

As suppression of dissent in one university, would silence students of other universities, too much intervention and hostile opposition by the state and civil society must be stopped.