Basic philosophy behind specialized universities

(This is partly in response to http://www.orissa2020.org/digambara-s-feedback-2 and to clarify what I have in mind.)

There are two reasons behind establishing some specialized universities.

1. To create institutions of excellence in a specific topic. An example of this is National Law School of India University in Bangalore. Until it was established, people in India studied Law as an add-on and no one cared much about law degrees. It was a decoration and mass copying was associated with it. Some universities in India did have good law departments but still most young people (except perhaps kids whose parents were successful lawyers and judges) out of high school did not think of Law as a career to pursue at that time. NLSIU Bangalore changed all that. So while regular universities may have a law department, a National Law University of Orissa in Cuttack is a specialized university that will allow young students to dream of pursuing law and getting top notch law related jobs all because of their merit and their education in a top school.

The idea behind a Education University, perhaps we can call it National Education University of Orissa, is similar. It will have aims similar to the recently established Azim Premji University in Bangalore. In case of Law it took Orissa 20 years to catch up to Bangalore. (NLSIU was established in 1987.) We should not again make such mistakes and be behind in producing top education leaders. We should look carefully at the structure of Azim Premji University and if it makes sense improve on it and establish a National Education University of Orissa immediately.

The idea behind a sports university is similar. It could be modeled after the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports at Patiala.

2. To provide uniform standards to specialized colleges such as engineering colleges. BPUT is a good example of that. A similar one overseeing private medical colleges may be needed if and when there are enough private medical colleges. The government colleges of that kind (engineering college in case of BPUT) in the city where the university is located should become a constituent (not affiliate) college of that university. The proposed skills university will be of this kind.



Having said the above, many general universities should be made more wholesome by adding all the government colleges in their respective areas as constituent colleges and not affiliated colleges. The colleges to be made constituent colleges may include engineering and medical colleges in that area.

It should be noted that most countries do have wholesome comprehensive universities as well as specialized universities and institutes. Having one should not preclude the other. 

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