Most of the schools I attended as a child, as well as the college where I did my Bachelor’s, were Christian establishments. Although it was typically not required, as students we did acquire some amount of Bible instruction, some through osmosis and some through disciplining… And this has stood me well over the years.
As I have indicated in recent posts, the overall funding situation for higher education in the country (and for most Central Universities, and the UoH in particular) is very worrisome. The XII Plan allocations from the UGC and MHRD have been less than generous, and one parable from the New Testament strikes a chord. This is the miracle of the five loaves and the two fishes recounted in the Gospel of St. Matthew (14:13-21), and here it is in the New King James Version:
14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
15 When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages and buy themselves food.”
16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
18 He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
19 Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained.
21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
It is difficult not to see this as an allegory of the funding of public universities in India. There are many of us- the forty Central Universities and the few hundred State Universities- that are all primarily dependent on the government for funds, to pay salaries, build infrastructure, and to deliver education and carry out research. And at meetings when University administrators gather to discuss the state of finances, we are always told that funds are severely limited for one reason or another…
Maintaining our University at our present level (let alone taking it a notch higher) with the quantum of funds that are given to us by the UGC is going to need nothing short of a miracle. Like the feeding of the five thousand, and that too without a messiah on the horizon.