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One look at Allahabad University will tell you how inbreeding is ruining India’s academics

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01.07.2020

The story of the University of Allahabad shows both the early promise of what Indian universities could have been and its tragic decline.

In the decades after Independence, the Allahabad University boasted of luminaries like Meghnad Saha and K.S. Krishnan in the Department of Physics, Firaq Gorakhpuri and Harivansh Rai Bachchan in the Department of English Literature and B.N. Prasad and Gorakh Prasad in the Department of Mathematics. And not one of them had obtained their doctoral or advanced academic degrees at the Allahabad University.

But today, the Allahabad University is an example of what a university should not be known for — the malaise of severe academic inbreeding. And it is not just the University of Allahabad, most older Indian universities — such as the Aligarh Muslim University, M.S. University of Baroda, Panjab University and Rajasthan University — suffer from it.

The scourge of academic inbreeding strikes when the faculty of a university mostly have degrees from that very university. It is, perhaps, not a coincidence that the decline of the Allahabad University through the 1960s and beyond also saw a marked change in the academic profiles of its faculty. Most of them had obtained their doctoral degrees from the same university and had no academic experience outside of it.

This academic inbreeding affects ranking, quality of research, variety in faculty, and stagnates ideas while creating a nepotistic ‘in-group’. It’s one of the reasons why Indian universities never make it to the top in global rankings.

Also read: Study shows how India’s higher education enrollment can jump to 65% from 27%

The tale of the decline of India’s universities is as tragic........

© ThePrint


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