Afreen Fatima | November 19, 2016
A lecture on “Rethinking University” was organized by University Debating and Literary Club (UDLC) at the Cultural Hall, Maulana Azad Library, Aligarh Muslim University. The lecture was scheduled on 19th November 2016, Saturday. Prof. Apoorvanand Jha, a human right activist and Professor of Hindi at University of Delhi delivered his talk followed by an interactive session.
Dr. Mohibul Haque, president-UDLC, welcomed the guest and explained the theme of the lecture and further added that he was highly obliged to have Prof. Apoorvanand as the Guest Speaker. He remarked, ‘The relation between students and their teachers is just like the relation between a consumer and a producer and that there is need to rethink the concept of universities and bring about a social change and a social transformation’. Wajahat Jilani, a student of Law Faculty and Secretary of UDLC then gave a brief introduction of Prof. Apoorvanand and said, ‘He is perhaps the most appropriate person.’ He then invited Prof. Apoorvanand to start his lecture.
Prof. Apoorvanand thanked the AMU for inviting him to Aligarh once again. He started his lecture by saying ‘it is after 2014, that Universities are a topic of discussion for everyone and it is good. This shows that there is a part of the society which is alive and it holds the future of the country in its hands’. He stated that students were trained in Universities in such a way that when they move out with degrees in their hands they worked for the greater glory of the nation.
Prof. Apoorvanand exclaimed that a university teaches not just the process of ‘learning’ but also that of ‘unlearning’. It is a matter of out of syllabus as much as within syllabus, it is inside classrooms as well as under trees. The idea of university is more to have ‘informal’ relations than ‘formal’ one.
He added, ‘when Mediocrity becomes the ruling power, Excellence starts to die a silent death. It is the universities that set a standard of excellence for the society. They are a place of thinking and rethinking. Not everyone sees the same thing as the same thing. And for refined experience and revolutions, education is must. Universities give a chance to dream, set a goal and challenge your own self. Think out of the box and be a rebel.’
He exclaimed that a university teaches not just the process of learning but also that of unlearning. It is a matter of out of syllabus as much as within syllabus. He said, ‘it is inside classrooms as well as under trees. The idea of university is more to have ‘informal’ relations than ‘formal’ one. Informal spaces like the canteen and the book store are necessary. For, universities in itself are a parallel universe to break boundaries. A student of Arts can share his views with a Science Graduate. So that the principal of Equality can be imparted.’
Session was presided over by Prof. Asmer Beg, Chairman of Political Science, AMU | Photo: Sharjeel Usmani
He remarked that excellence is not the Elitest concept but something between elitness and equality. The gap between excellence and equality needs to be bridged. Universities train the students to listen along with letting them speak their minds.
He focused on the point of excellence and the concept of excellence should not be lost. Dr. Jha concluded that the essence of University should not be forsaken and the students should have all the right to put forward their opinions. “A university student defines their own goals and does not follow the stereotyped goals dictated to them. They excel in their own terms. The voice of the students should not be silenced but rather encouraged. The specialty of the language of law should be promoted. The art of Difference, Distance and Delay in language should be cultivated’, he said.
Professor Asmar Beg, Chairman Department of Political Science, was then called by Wajahat Jilani to comment on the lecture and give his presidential address. Dr. Beg commended on Prof. Apoorvanand’s phenomenal lecture and encouraged the students to follow the golden words of Prof. Apoorvanand
There was an interactive session with Prof. Apoorvanand. Students and teachers asked him questions which he responded to with the same vigor.
Wajahat Jilani then proposed the vote of thanks.
India Standard Time