Higher education in India needs a push says president
Though India produces a bulky mass of graduates each year yet the sting of innovation seems to be diminishing. On Thursday our newly appointed president Mr. Pranab Mukherjee made a fervent appeal to improve the higher education scenario in India. He urged the private sector to play a bigger role in the education system. Mukherjee was in Sonipat to inaugurate a conference on "The Future of Indian Universities: Comparative Perspectives on Higher Education Reforms for a Knowledge Society" at OP Jindal Global University near here. Universities and research centers should become fertile grounds for innovation, he said.
Indian graduates in considerable number opt to study abroad for higher education. Referring to the poor rate of enrollment in India in higher education, Mukherjee said, "Enrollment in higher education is a mere 7% in India, while it is 21% in Germany and 34% in USA. We need to take steps to promote higher education."
Mr. President while highlighting the urgent need to raise the quality of teaching, faculty and research in the universities of the country, expressed his concern that none of the Indian universities were among the top 200 universities in the world.
Making education feasible for all is what Mr. President emphasized on by devising higher studies affordable for students belonging to any society. "Scholarships, education loans and self-help schemes should be liberalized for deserving students," he added. Power of technology should be harnessed to promote education, he said.
Mukherjee expressed deep concern about the large number of vacancies in Central universities.Emphasizing the need to identify one department in every university to transform it into a center of excellence, he called for concrete steps to create a "culture of excellence" in higher education.
He asked the ministry of human resource development, University Grants Commission and the universities to work together to achieve qualitative improvement in the educational system so as to make it as good as the best in the world. "A common approach should be adopted with focus on quality, affordability and accessibility. The private sector should come forward to play a larger role in improving and promoting higher education," he observed.