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“Education has become commerce,” a concerned Supreme Court observed Thursday and added that many of the mushrooming teaching shops in the country do not even have the basic infrastructure.

The court said that education which was never an instrument of money minting has been reduced to a commercial activity.

The vacation bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi, said that the extent of commercialisation of education could be gauged from the fact that in Maharashtra in one year 464 B.Ed colleges were opened and in Haryana there are 25 engineering colleges. The intake in the engineering colleges is not even up to 50 percent. The other judge on the bench was Justice C.K. Prasad.

Justice Singhvi said, “Education has become commerce. Our generation can’t change the mindset. Education is something more than commerce.”

The court said these institutions “don’t even have the basic infrastructure”.

In an obvious message that the court was not oblivious to the ground realities, Justice Singhvi said, “Very unfortunately we can’t close our minds to all that is happening in the country.”

The court made this observation in the course of the hearing of an application by the Association of Management of Ayurvedic Colleges seeking the court’s directions to permit their students to appear in examinations. The association wanted that students who have completed one and a half years of classes should be permitted to appear in the coming semester examinations.

At this, Justice C.K. Prasad said the students knew they were taking admission in the courses which don’t have clearance of the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM).

“We can’t compromise on the study of curriculum and nobody can take the exam without completing the course,” Justice Prasad said. “Completing one and a half year is not just a matter of duration but to study a curriculum during that period.”

Without passing any order on the application, the court said the matter would be heard by the bench headed by Justice R.V. Raveendran when the court reopens after the summer recess. Justice Raveendran’s bench is already hearing the matter

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