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Should students take a year off before graduation?

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February 25, 2008 12:31 IST
Princeton University, one of America's best known universities, recently announced that it is working on a programme to send 10 per cent of newly admitted students to a year of social service in a foreign country before they begin with the regular curriculum.

The idea is to broaden their horizons as they interact with new people and learn from new cultures while helping ease the pressures of graduating and starting their careers. No tuition fees would be charged to students picked for the programme while some could even avail of financial assistance.

A novel idea, even for the US. But does such an idea find relevance in India's academic system? Should our students be given a year off to work with India's rural communities so that they gain a better understanding of the issues and problems confronting the country?

Would this interaction help our graduates gain a better, more well-rounded perspective of India, its present and future?

With students burdened with the pressures of exams and the search for lucrative careers, would such a programme lend clarity to their academic pursuits?

If you have an opinion or suggestions you would like to make, simply post them on the message board below!