Updated: Aug 5, 2020
Vision is for mystics; academics have a plan. A plan that takes imagination, judgment, commitment, wisdom and understanding as elements. My idea of a university is not ideal, it's practical. Consequently, its demands are practical. It's not just about how we think, but how we apply that thinking and expect results on the ground. 'There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.' G.K. Chesterton's words apply in any situation where the ideal clashes with the real. Here we are not fancying a heavenly seat of learning where knowledge is revealed and transmitted through some invisible medium. What we aim at is an establishment where besides disseminating knowledge, jobs too are generated. Though I am not in favour of converting university into a veritable employment exchange, but I plan to bridge that disconnect between knowledge as art and knowledge as applied art. In that sense, my vision of a university is ordinary. Ordinary for being practical, workable and result-oriented. It's the idea of a university where ideal meets real, mind meets matter.
In a university diversity must flourish. Not just diversity of disciplines, but diversity of thoughts. My idea of a university is that of a school where minds are unchained to do the thinking. It's a lab where experiments are made and change is not feared, but invited. So, with job-generation, idea generation makes university the real attraction for those who live in the world of ideas, for whom an idea has the power to change the world. With academic development, this will ensure intellectual growth of a human mind. That is what a university stands for.
In a world where education sells like any other commodity in the market, I will restore scholarship the dignity it has lost to degrees. Seeking a mere degree will not define my idea of a university. My university will not be confined to an academic research that fetches a mere certificate. I will focus on the level and the quality of research that takes industry as necessity but creativity as fuel.
I see university as a huge canvass where liberal arts enjoy the liberation they demand. In a university I visualize, sciences and social sciences will not be fixed in curricular compartments. Let subjects collide to create the warmth that knowledge means. Let streams leak into each other. That is what inter-disciplinary approach calls for and that is what informs my idea of a university.
In any academic institution of a university standard, eligibility matters and it must matter. My scene of a university is an institution where excellence figures first, eligibility follows. To me eligibility will be confined to a requirement only, the rest is performance. Imagine a place where a certificate will work only as a license that validates the candidature, not a document that reflects worth. That place I call a university.