Uncomfortable Humanities

Why am I finding this unsettling?

Jindal Aluminium Ltd. is giving Bangalore University Rs. 100 crore to set up a School of Economics. The conditions:

  • that the school be named Dr. Sitaram Jindal School of Economics
  • the proposed school will be an autonomous body on the pattern of the London School of Economics or the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
  •  that a report of annual activities is to be sent to the company every June, and that five poor but meritorious students recommended by the company to be admitted to the course

Let me see – there is going to be an autonomous school of economics, named after a Jindal, and reporting to the Jindal Aluminium company, for which Bangalore University will provide land. And the report says Jindal is giving BU something. Ah. Source of indigestion located.

Another interesting thing? The phrasing “an autonomous body on the pattern of the London School of Economics or the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.” Remember how I was saying Economics is sometimes not a humanities subject, K? You think it will be at this new School of Economics?

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2 thoughts on “Uncomfortable Humanities

  1. K says:

    I have bigger fears — forget the new fangled “professional universities” and their ilk, even the traditional ones are becoming purely business operations. Some thoughts from an academic of the old school:

    “Sensing my interest in an academic career, [Sebald] predicted further continuing deterioration of academic culture in UK higher education as a result of increased bureaucracy, the imposition of profit-driven, short-term policies that aimed to turn universities into business operations, the introduction of benchmarks, the redefinition of students as customers, time-consuming quality assurance mechanisms and superfluous staff development training. With hindsight, one has to admit, he was not too far off the mark.”

    Complete article here.

  2. maithri says:

    Well, I don’t think the news is all bad. I wouldn’t call all changes in academic culture ‘deterioration’, either. Things have just changed, and are changing. Professionalising humanities also means humanitising some of this professional education – which is a good thing. My worry is, rather, that we are focusing more on the first and not enough on the second.

    That link’s broken, btw.

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