I learnt recently that a very promising young applicant for painting could not be considered for the interview because the M.S University of Baroda has some strange rules that disallow people to apply for the under graduate fine arts program course if four years have lapsed from the time they have left school. That he has a three year degree course in mass communication was also something that could be considered for an application to the post graduate course, because the rules insist upon a four year undergraduate course in a related subject! The key objection here being the difference of one year! What a shame it is that we have such foolish rules that snatch away the chances of people to make changes in their lives that are informed and which are arrived at through working out what really matters for them and their futures.
Art education should not have these ridiculous clauses as riders, because it is a territory of learning that requires time and assimilation, and often the entery into the practice comes after other experiences feed the need to explore ones creative self. It is not a prescriptive profession and very few schools in India nurture the creative abilities of children in a serious manner that encourages them to see a future in it. Parents of male children most often frown on such preferences and it requires a great amount of resistance for those who come via such journeys to art, to arrive at this juncture.
All the wonderful innovative ways of keeping the doors of such institutions open through the non-collegiate programs have all been cast aside by policy makers with no imagination. We cast our children into moulds they often do not fit because we have a system that forces decisions to be made too early in their educational lives, and we have educational institutions that are rigid and uncompromising. We clip the wings of so many of our talented youngsters and wonder why they cannot fly. Is any one even bothered.