There is “education” – and there is “training.”
Manipal and Symbiosis – India’s leading private “deemed” universities – are only engaged in the latter.
MANIPAL: I have lectured twice in Manipal, on both occasions at the TA Pai Management Institute. On the second occasion, my talk was on “Unilateral Free Trade.” This was quite a long time ago – maybe ten years or so.
TA Pai was an “edupreneur” – and he started it off with a medical college. This is “training.”
Manipal is situated some 15 kms west of Udipi. It used to be a village before the medical college was built. Today, it is a bustling town – but with just one “main street.” All along this street are all the various institutes of “training”: engineering, hotel management, software, hardware, and what not.
Their MBA diploma is also “training.”
I once went to Manipal specifically to meet with their Chancellor, hoping to interest him in an academy on what was called a “classical liberal education.”
He turned out to be a “trained” medical doctor.
Anyway, I left him with a copy of Albert Jay Nock’s talk on the difference between “education” and “training” – but he never reverted back.
I met their Vice-Chancellor once, as well. He too turned out to be a “trained” medical doctor.
It was here that I was once hauled out of a bar by the cops, shoved into the back of a jeep, and locked up for a while. When I asked of the brute-in-charge what exactly was the “charge” against me, he replied “galata” – the Kannada word for “noise.”
Well, it is true that I was singing along with the songs the DJ was playing – at my request – but if that disturbed anyone then it was my waiter who ought to have requested me to tone it down.
But that’s another story.
SYMBIOSIS: My association with Symbiosis – which is based in Poona – began with their Institute of Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD), about ten years or so ago. One of their students had attended a seminar of mine – and had invited me to lecture there. The Director of SCMHRD, a very good fellow called Professor Pillai, took a great liking for me. I was invited twice thereafter to speak at their convocation ceremonies. I was also taken to lecture at their other campus, in Nashik.
After my second talk at an SCMHRD convocation, I was led aside by the Vice-Chancellor of Symbiosis (Deemed) University – who took me out for dinner at his swank club. Turned out that he was a retired GENERAL – and when I probed further, he revealed that he was a military doctor, a former Director of the Armed Forces Medical College in Poona.
Anyway, some years later, I was in Poona for some months – and quite broke, as usual.
So I called on Professor Pillai at SCMHRD and offered some courses. We struck a deal – and it involved lecturing regularly at both his campuses, for both first year as well as final year students. I was to receive a goodly fee in exchange.
The very next day, the papers informed me that Professor Pillai had been FIRED!
The story said that the daughter of the founder of this “brand name” had done the firing.
A few days later, I read that Professor Pillai had started another management institute in Poona – with assistance from his former students.
But I did not venture to meet with him again – lest he get into any trouble on my account.
But it so happened that I bumped into this retired medical general, the vice-chancellor, while I was on my regular walkabout one evening. He lived in my neighbourhood. So, I visited his residence once, hoping to interest him in some of my books meant for the “education” of those who only receive “training.” One of these was my edition of Samuel Smiles’ Self-Help: With Illustrations of Perseverance and Conduct, a very great book from the glory days of Victorian England, a book that, in translation, fired the Japs in their catch-up with the West after the Meiji Restoration – but he turned it down.
Recommended Reading: This article from The Daily Bell that says the International Bacclaureate programme is just UN propaganda.