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Indian society needs wide intellectual base

In response to the news story 'Indian education 'should not be driven by profits', there is no doubt that higher education cannot be solely demand-driven. There are study courses for which demand may be low. In fact, those running the course may make a loss because of the small number of students.

But who knows what contribution those few students will make to that discipline? Imagine a library in which books that are not read for five or ten years are thrown away. How will such a library answer the curiosity of a student in the eleventh year?

Higher education must respond to society's needs and one of Indian society's needs is to create inquisitive minds. Having said that, higher education institutions often ignore creativity at the grassroots level and the value of traditional knowledge systems.

We must correct such biases.

The World Bank cannot fully fathom the complexity of Indian society. Thus, I agree with what Pushpa Bhargava [vice-chair of India's National Knowledge Commission] says in this news story and hope that the knowledge commission will not be biased towards the formal education sector.