MyFightAgainstCapitationFee

Towards education that is re-linked to human values and is de-linked from commercialisation.

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Emperor Harshavardhana – A Teacher, Undesignated.

Emperor Harshavardhana (Harsha) lived between 590 AD – 647 AD and served the northern part of India. He patronized Nalanda University, whose curriculum encompassed “..virtually the entire range of world knowledge then available. Courses were drawn from every field of learning, Buddhist and Hindu, sacred and secular, foreign and native. Students studied science, astronomy, medicine, and logic as diligently as they applied themselves to metaphysics, philosophy, Samkhya, Yoga-shastra, the Veda, and the scriptures of Buddhism. They studied foreign philosophy likewise.” It is said that the university accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers, and students/ scholars from regions like Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey where attracted to this school of learning. The following excerpt is taken from the book Spirituality in management: Means or End? authored by SK Chakraborty and Debangshu Chakraborty.

A remarkable value-underpinning for such a complete king as Harsha was, when still quite young, his reluctance to ascend the throne. Considerable persuasion was needed to make him the king after his father’s death. Non-attachment and humility were elements of character which never deserted him throughout his career as a great king.

The most remarkable proof of Harsha’s rajarshi leadership lay in his ‘quinquennial convocation’ of tyaga and seva (renunciation and service), the two strongest pillars of Bharat’s sanatan culture and society… This event used to take place at Prayag over a 2-month period. The process began with the worship of the images of Aditya, Shiva and Buddha for the first three days. For the next twenty days selected Buddhists and Brahmins were gifted with gold, pearls, garments, food etc. The next forty days were devoted to giving alms and sustenance to the poor, the orphans, the destitutes from far and near. Even the King’s belongings were given away. By the end of this maha-yajna in the vast ‘arena of charity’, all the accumulated wealth in the king’s coffers used to be exhausted – so much so that Harsha had to beg a second hand garment from his sister Rajyasri at the closing hour of the event.
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How can we stop the practice of charging capitation fee? Participate, Help, Get Involved

Culture in the society can be refined through Education, the source being inherent. If ‘Respect for all beings’ has to emerge, educational processes has to be built on the loftiest and noblest processes of dedication and giving. It will never arise when the focus is on ‘Return on Investment’ and is available for purchase in shopping malls that pose as educational institutions. It will not happen when “teachers” are focused on achieving their career objectives instead of giving their commitment to students. To make a diversionary remark – Mother Theresa’s death happened on Teachers Day.

Despite instructions from the Supreme Court of India, and legal pronouncements banning the charging of capitation fee (or in names similar to them), many institutions continue to take capitation fee. Capitation fee for medicine touches a crore, and for engineering and business instruction, it is in lakhs. Now some nursery and primary schools also charge similar fee. While these institutes charges such high fee, the lower cadre employees of these institutes, who engage in the so-called menial jobs, are paid a pittance. These for-profit companies have benefited from the society and the government, posing themselves as educational institutions. They have received funds, subsidies and financial exceptions, and advantages in land acquisitions. The field of higher education is one of the three major contributors and sustainers of black money in India.

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Charging fee for education is unidealistic, running an educational institution for making monetary profits is unidealistic and unethical, and charging capitation fee is unidealistic, unethical and illegal. As the practice of capitation fee continues, the Supreme Court, in August 2014, appointed Mr Salman Khurshid, former Union Law Minister, as an amicus curiae, and asked him to come out with suggestions to end this practice of taking capitation. India is known for committees and meetings and committees and meetings. So be it. If this is the way India works, let it work that way, but work we will.

You may or may not have taken a bribe. You may or may not have given a bribe. Doesn’t matter. As citizens of this country, as inheritors of this glorious culture, as shapers of this nations destiny, it is important that we involve ourselves in the education of our nation. And thus, the below are four questions for you to which your response is asked or requested.

As a citizen of India,

1. What is/ are your suggestion/s to Mr Salman Khurshid, to the Supreme Court, and to the various governmental authorities to stop the practice of capitation fee?

2. What can you do to promote and support educational institutions that are not connected to commercialization, and is rooted and connected to human values?

3. How can you help in creating an education system that is re-linked to the values of nobility?

4. If you are associated with an institution that is taking capitation fee, how can you ensure that this institution stops this practice?

Make your suggestions specific. Give your responses in the comments section. Click on “Leave a comment” that you will find at the beginning of this blog post, or scroll down below to find the “Leave a Reply” space. You can post comments without giving your email id and name. You are also welcome to share this blog and its articles to as many people as possible.

Where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high…

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Contemporary examples of “revenue models” in education!

Commercialization of education is not what all are doing. There may be people who are ignorant about the dedication and devotion exhibited by individuals and institutions contributing to the uplifting of humanity and India. “Vasudaiva Kudumbakam” and “Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu” (Let ‘All in All’ Be At Peace and Happiness) are not just words, they are the daily practice and breath for many. The soul of India was not created accidentally!

The below are some contemporary examples of “revenue models” in education:

1.

Mr Kalyana Sundaram.

During his career as a librarian in a college, he donated all his salary to charitable causes, and did additional jobs to meet his daily needs. He has pledged to donate his body and eyes. Wears khadi. Unmarried. His retirement benefits and share of family property were donated too.

KalyanasundaramLibrarianSalaryCharity

 

2.

Swaraj University

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3.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Sri Sathya Sai University)

SriSathyaSaiInstituteOfHigerLearning

 

If you know about such educational institutions that offers education free of cost or on the mode of ‘Gift Economy’/ ‘Pay It Forward’/ ‘Pay As Your Heart Feels’/ Pay As You Wish’ etc., please share details about these institutions in the ‘comments’ section.

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The “Hindu” thought on charging fee from students

SathyamVadaDharmamChara

The following is part of a commentary of Swami Chinmayananda on Taittiriya Upanishad.

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Dharma is a word which has no corresponding word in English. Somebody in haste had translated it as ‘righteousness’ and those who had followed him had merely repeated the same word; thus, traditionally dharma is ‘righteousness’. But it is too meagre a word to carry the load of meaning which is the contents of dharma. All those fundamental values of life which are universally good at all places and at all times; which form the foundation of all efforts at moral rearmament and all edifices of ethical perfection; which constitute the corner stones for all temples, churches, mosques, synagogues and gurudvaras; which are the eternal duties of every man who want to live up to the full dignity of a human being and strive consistently to grow into his fullest stature as a God-man in this very life. In this ampler meaning, we may, for our convenience, and not with satisfaction, translate dharma as duty.

Hinduism is built upon duties and not on rights. The European way of thought has moulded itself upon the ‘principle of rights’ and they have been growing through arrows and boomerangs, bullets and shells to reach the present when they are threatening each other with atomic weapons and secret instruments of mutual slaughter, to demand and maintain the rights of each against the rights of the others. They are demanding rights; rights are to be taken, to be acquired; to be preserved. A civilisation that is based upon ‘rights’ must necessarily come to clamour and fight and the instincts of acquiring and hoarding, keeping and maintaining should develop in that society and ultimately upset the peace.

On the other hand, the glorious Sanatana Dharma of the Hindus recognises his right ‘to do his duties’ as the fundamental privilege in life. When it is duty to be performed, a generation that has understood it, will be trained to demand of life only ample chances to fulfill their duty. Duty therefore develops the spirit of giving, the urge to be charitable rather than the lust to hoard or the anxiety to keep.

The growing buds of the generation, as they are leaving the teacher’s presence, are advised to keep this glorious principle of fulfilling their duties towards the society, towards their relations and towards themselves.

The students were not asked to pay any fees before they entered the gurukula institution. That was not the rule in ancient India; education was free. A student entering the portals of education was a pleasant challenge, as it were, to the teacher who took up the challenge and saw to it that he made out of that raw material an efficient and independent earning member of the society.

After his education, the student was not thrown out into the world of tension and chaos from which he had been for so long and so efficiently kept away in the gurukula, as today we keep them in the libraries and laboratories. On the other hand, the educational system was so organised as to work perfectly in unison with the demands of the society and the needs of living at that time, so that a child who had walked out of his teacher’s protection, from the day he reached his home, proved himself to be a fully trained soldier to fight the battle of his life.

The gurudaksina (the fee) was not even demanded of the boys when they were leaving the institution after their education. The gurukula system seemed not to justify itself to demand fees simply because they had educated the boys. The system was thorough and they were so confident of the results that they insisted that they would be receiving the payment only from the first independent income of the individual!

As soon as the student reached home, he plunged into work and his early savings that he could make entirely go towards the gurudaksina. And who among them could forget their own days of gurukula activities and the fact how, during their days, the old students had maintained the rsi universities? Thus the boys of each generation continued subscribing towards the gurukula funds almost year after year or at least during the various stages of their life.

 

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“India do not have enough skilled professionals”

Saaar, I have a problem.

Tell me, ya, what is it?

Today is my Ph.D. final theses viva. I do not know the meanings of some of the words in my presentation PPT. You are my research guide, please help me.

What is this, ya? Telling this now only?

Saaar, i did not make the PPT myself.

That you need not tell. I know it earlier also. What competency do you have?

Now no competency saar. My competencies got finished with the earlier 2-3 doctor committe meeting and preparations for today’s viva.

It is doctoral committee meeting, not doctor committee meeting, at least get those meanings correct.

Okay Saar. What to do now? Shall i order for some extra soda sarbath or apple joose for viva audiences so that they will remain silent?

Yes, do that. It is a good idea. Give cashewnuts too. You are giving lunch, with sweets and non-vegetarian dishes, to all, correct?

Correct Saar. I pledged my wife’s golden jewellery to find money for this.

Don’t worry. After your Ph.D., we will apply for a major AICTE/ DST project, and will ask students to do it as an assignment. I will show you the way.

You are great, Saar. You are my way and destination. You are god to me.

No, No, don’t mention… Did you meet the members of your viva committee? Are they happy?

Yes Saar. One of them wanted to go to a temple. So i took him in a car, and paid money for his puja. He is very charitable, Saar. Wanted to do annadaanam. That money also i paid.

Good! So you got committee member’s blessings, god’s blessings and poor people’s blessing also. 3-in-1 bonus, ya. What a great man you are. Keep everybody happy.

Okay Saar. Saar, that ring is really looking nice on your fingers.

Hmmm… My wife did not like it. She says that i should not have taken this ring from you. But how can i refuse it? God is giving it through you. It is all his will and blessing. Who am i to refuse?

Yes Saar. Ladies like that only. Always says, don’t want, don’t want. Tell my respects to madam. Very kind madam, Saar.

Madam says that there is a new organic store that has opened in the shopping mall. Asking what is your opinion about the vegetables there.

It is good Saar. I will buy vegetables today evening from there, and deliver it to madam.

What a helpful person you are. There is no need for any of these. Ok, let us get ready for your viva.

 

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Is your college prestigious? Did you study in a reputed institution?

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