Bangalore: There is something deeply troubling about a 19-year-old's college attendance record being the subject of a national debate - as decided by our television channels. No matter that the 19-year old is Unmukt Chand, captain of India's junior team which won the World Cup in Australia. And that it was Chand's classy century in the final that turned the game.
Such academic matters are best resolved with a smile and a nod; that the Education Minister of the country and its Sports Minister should become involved is a commentary on how our politicians love to jump on to the cricketing bandwagon in their constant search for the next populist move. The principal of St Stephen's College did not do his cause any good by his remarks on sport, but if he believes that matches are fixed and scams such as the one that beset the Commonwealth Games are common, he is not too far off the mark.
Chand is not the first university student to get into trouble over his attendance. Universities around the country insist on physical presence over mental agility and that is a deeper problem that needs to be addressed. What India has - even in our best institutions - is not so much an education system as an examination system, buttressed by the attendance system.