Judicial activism

One of our national dailies reports that Madras High court has ordered a CBI inquiry into what is a quintessential internal affair of IIT Madras, namely the process of appointing faculty [1]. The process of selecting students and appointing faculty are vital to any university health and must be a prerogative of the university. It may be true that all committees do not always act in good faith given how deeply dependence and patronage is rooted in our society but even if they act in good faith, the decision may not be agreeable to all. Speaking of German universities nearly a hundred years ago, the sociologist, Max Weber, had observed, “No university teacher likes to be reminded of discussions of appointments, for they are rarely agreeable”. We Indians loves to be argumentative; reaching consensus becomes very hard. To make matter worse, suspicions and allegations of caste prejudice and other forms of bias have become endemic.

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