It is good to know that the Education policy in the country is being re-visited. Recent years have indeed witnessed a greatly worrisome erosion in the quality of education at all levels.
At this point of globalization, a fundamental change in our world view is needed to ensure that our Education policy truly reflects the contemporary requirements. We have to genuinely accept that higher education is one of the important independent pillars, besides the legislature, executive and judiciary, on which a country and a society rests. Such independence determines a country's and a society's present and future. Even advanced countries believe in, and maintain the relative independence of the four pillars, viz., legislature, executive, judiciary and higher education. It appears rather paradoxical that in our country, in which education is a preeminent value irrespective of religion, language or caste, we do not seem to believe in the independence of education, although the other three pillars seem to exist in dynamic equilibrium. Unless the policy frameworks believe in this prime role of education and its independence, even the very intelligently drafted and thought-through policy document would merely provide a policing system rather than promoting quality and competitive education.
We are concerned with the fact that there is little or no mention of “basic sciences”, “science education” or “mathematics education” in the draft policy document. Likewise other subjects in humanities or arts etc also do not find specific mention. Education in basics of science, mathematics, humanities, arts etc have to be core areas of the policy. Science and Mathematics need specific and focussed attention in our Country’s education policy. World over, these are considered as problem areas, and, therefore, extensive attention and focus are given for their teaching at the various levels of school, college and university education. This would require strengthening of labs at all levels, but more so in the colleges and universities to provide for research-based learning. The importance of basic subjects in all domains has to be incorporated in the main policy framework. Emphasis only on "skill development' with an eye on the job market, will result in lack of good qualified educators and quality researchers in the future, with very serious cascading consequences. Further, while training and research in applied areas is essential, its success depends upon the quality of country's training and research in basic disciplines. Technical innovations are possible only when the basic training is holistic and of good quality. Therefore, basic research has also to be strengthened in the section which focuses on Technology.
The Science Academies in the country have been pondering on these issues, especially in the context of higher education in S&T areas and had organized several brain-storming sessions in the recent past. Reports of these were published in Current Science and were also made available to different stake-holders. These reports and some recent editorials by fellows of the Academies on these issues are attached with this communication. The Science Academy's document on restructuring post-school science education needs to be seriously considered while formulating the HE policy. The basic tenets of broad-based under-graduate study programmes discussed in this document apply equally well to other disciplines (Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences etc).
Some recent documents relating to Science Education and excellence, published by the Science Academies or Fellows of the Academy are listed below and may be consulted for details:
Joint Science Education panel of INSA, IASc & NASI (2008) Restructuring post-school science teaching programmes. CURRENT SCIENCE 95:1409-1418.
Krishnan, M. S., Brakaspathy, R., & Arunan, E. (2016). Chemical education in India: addressing current challenges and optimizing opportunities. J CHEMICAL EDUCATION. (Guest Editorial) 10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00231
T. V. Ramakrishnan (2016) Rediscovering our universities. CURRENT SCIENCE 110: 1879-1880. (http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/110/10/1879.pdf)
Our suggestions/answers in relation to specific questions are provided (in red fonts) in the following pages.
In addition, some general points that need to be considered while finalizing the NEP are noted below:
World over, the Academies and other professional bodies play a pivotal role in planning and execution of policies in education as well as R&D. India also should utilize such bodies fully in policy-planning, and implementation as well as for monitoring.
A National Policy must maximally benefit the largest numbers and, therefore, concerns about equity and inclusiveness are but natural. However, there has to be a scope for the highly talented, relatively much fewer, to achieve their full potentials, serve as a role model and be internationally competitive. This needs a more emphatic commitment in the new Policy. In addition, while the need safeguarding the interests of those left behind for historical reasons has found repeated mentions, we need to be also concerned with the growing middle-income group which is finding it difficult to find the desired opportunities for progress. The rich can go to private costly institutions or go abroad, while those historically left behind can benefit from reservations. However, a large number of bright students from middle-income group find most doors closed to them. A policy for future should find some solution for this already a fairly large group.
Most times, we measure the success of an educational institution by considering what the top few have achieved. While this assessment is valid, our education policy should, if it has to improve the lot of masses, should also examine what the academically lower rankers have been able to do. We may not need to worry only about the best since, when properly catalyzed by the training, they will achieve on their dint, the policy should ensure that the average student also benefits.
We need to create appropriate environment and recruitment practices/policies that would help retain the thousands of our bright students to serve the country rather than being effectively lost to us as they seek better pastures abroad for higher education. It needs to be examined as to why they go in large numbers not only to the advanced countries but also to other countries which seemingly do not appear to be more advanced than ours.
For the New Education Policy to succeed, the country would require financial commitment of a much higher order. The earlier National Policies of 1968 and 1986/92 had recommended 6% of the GDP as the norm for the national outlay on education. However, for from enhancing it to meet the newer challenges, it has continued to be much lower.
Expenditure on Education, R&D is a philanthropic and social investment which provides enormous indirect benefits. These are not easily and directly countable in monetary terms.
Mere proliferation of IITs, Medical Colleges, AIIMS, NIITs, IISERs etc may not solve the problems that involve much larger masses of youth awaiting to be adequately trained and mentored.We may develop the concept of Finishing School and we must try and establish at least 100 such schools each year. At least in some cases, these can be initiated in some of the existing schools, Universities and research institutions.
We should also encourage more mentoring and counselling in each academic institutions. Experience and services of retired, but competent, professionals can be utilized for such activities.
Success of any Policy depends, in the long run, upon its implementation strategy. Therefore, this also needs to be well thought-out prior to formalizing the Education Policy.
While formulating the Education policy, we should follow Shri Aurobindo's three basic principles of education: i) Nothing can be taught – the teacher is not an instructor or task-master, he is helper and a guide. ii) The mind has to be consulted in its own growth – the idea of hammering the child into the shape desired by the parent or the teacher is barbarous and ignorant superstition and iii) Work from the near to the far, from that which is, to that which shall be.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Our answers/suggestion are in red fonts
I: Governance Reforms for Quality
Questions for discussion
Which of the following reforms will create better governance structures in State Universities
Revamp the affiliating system
Ensure multi-stakeholder governing bodies
Clearly defined roles for various governing bodies
Greater accountability through transparency
Greater academic, administrative and financial autonomy
The ability of institutions to charge appropriate fees from students who can afford to pay and at the same time having a means blind system for the needy students
5 and 6 above.
Affiliating college system may be done away with. Instead, only Universities, Constituent Colleges and Autonomous Colleges be maintained.
Which of the following reforms will create better governance structures in Centrally Funded institutions
Changes in the composition of governing bodies such as having representation from industry, alumni and civil society etc.
Re-align the regulatory functioning in a way so as to promote autonomy of institutions, with accountability fixed.
Single over-arching regulatory authority?
1 and 2 above
Is it desirable to shift towards norm based and outcome based funding of public funded higher education institutions? if not why and If yes, why?
It should be a mix of both so that norms ensure some degree of uniformity while outcome-based provides incentives for good performance. No outcome-based funding of public-funded institutions should be applied till a maturity level is attained (ca. 10-15 years).
What can be done to empower IQAC for internal assessment and accreditation exercise?
Accountability of the IQAC and responsiveness of the administration can only make it effective
What institutional measures need to be taken to attract, recruit and retain exceptionally qualified faculty and also keep the equity focus?
Wider and proactive notification about the vacancies, transparent selection process where the teaching and research capabilities are collectively assessed by the community and good incentives in form of start-up grants and good working atmosphere
What should be done to teachers who do not teach ?
Remove transfer counseling
Would you support if they are removed? YES if counselling does not work.
Teachers should seriously engage themselves in classroom teaching. Teaching performance should be regularly monitored. There should be a mechanism for “golden hand-shake and see off” for those who do not perform. Student evaluation of teachers, though an objective and transparent process, should be a decisive factor in this regard.
Should the college Principal and the Governing body be given responsibility for expenditure, and be accountable for it. YES
Should the University Act be changed ? YES
Should VC’s appointment be based on Search & Selection Committee ? YES
Should faculty appointment Committee have Third Party presence as Appraiser who is to just to watch and give report ? YES
Should fees be enhanced to Rs.500/- p.m. when the expenditure is more than Rs.2000/- per person. This should be come along with waiver for needy students. YES
Should BoG/Governing body be empowered to take decisions with regard to expenditure on the fee collected? YES, within certain norms so as not make it a profit making system
Should colleges be autonomous administratively and financially? YES, within broad guidelines
Should colleges be allowed to frame their course work (Accredited) within the NEP. YES
Should teachers have probation for 5 years ? YES, but that should not prevent them from guiding PhD scholars and undertaking externally funded research projects
II: Ranking of Institutions and Accreditation
Should India focus its resources on research universities, including liberal arts and social sciences so as to improve the country’s position in the global rankings?
The existing and new universities should have equal emphasis on teaching and research – any one is incomplete without the other. Resources need significant boosting
Should not India develop its own ranking system relying on indicators more suitable to Indian situation as other ranking systems have heavy weightage for
perception/subjective factors in which Indian Universities lose out. YES
Accreditation has been made mandatory for all institutions (whether the institution is publicly funded or not)? Is this approach correct or not? YES but this exercise has to be transparent and accountable
How should we facilitate the process of accreditation to make the process more objectively verifiable and transparent? Selection of appropriately qualified persons with objective commitment can only make the accreditation effective
Should we focus on programme accreditation or institutional accreditation or both? BOTH
III: Improving the quality of regulation
Has the present system of regulation stifled the growth of our institutions? Would it be better to reduce the number of regulatory bodies and/or should they undergo massive restructuring so as to function effectively. Please examine in detail.
Regulations and regulatory bodies are essential. However, there has to be some flexibility and autonomy for the target institutions. A massive restructuring of the existing regulatory authorities is necessary.
There is also an urgent need for better coordination between inter-ministry and inter-regulatory body activities. Many of the developmental grants provided by different agencies (e.g., DST, DBT etc) have failed to make a long-term impact because the UGC support is often not available for their continuation; this results in premature death of the facility, which was established with a long-term goal.
How do we ensure accountability measures while granting autonomy to institutions of higher education?
Autonomy does not mean absence of any regulations while accountability implies some punitive measure if the autonomy is misused. These can be made mutually compatible.
Are the existing regulations sufficient and how to enforce regulations?
The regulatory body as well as the target institutions need to have objective outlook without personal subjectivity and interference
How autonomous should the regulatory bodies?
Autonomous bodies should be under control of academic persons without any political interference and least governmental control
Should Inspectorate function be discharged by accreditors? YES
Should systems be put online for accreditation and videographic evidence be accumulated by regular for ascertaining what ranking to be given to which institution? This may be in addition to on-the-spot visit for detailed assessment
What are the anomalies/challenges thrown to education sector by private sector which converts education into a profit making enterprise at the cost of students and academics?
EDUCATION SHOULD NEVER BE FOR PROFIT, NEITHER BY PUBLIC NOR BY PRIVATE SECTOR. THIS TENDENCY TO START EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS FOR PROFIT HAS TO BE EFFECTIVELY CURBED.
IV: Pace Setting Roles of Central Institutions
Questions for discussion
How the Central universities will be able to play a pace setting role?
What steps need to be taken to transform these institutions into centres of excellence?
How to promote autonomy and institutional level initiatives to support regional level development efforts?
The above three issues need better administration (including the appointment and functioning of Vice-Chancellors), significantly improved funding, quality recruitment process (faculty as well as support staff) and hassle-free working environment
How can CFI’s do hand holding for educational institutions in and around their local areas? CFIs need not do hand-holding but should ensure autonomy, transparency and accountability, besides providing counselling when needed
Suggest ways how CFI’s can help to promote and spread academic excellence?
Suggest ways of how CFI’s can help HE in State sector?
The different categories of academic institutions (e.g., state vs central) should not compete negatively but positively and with synergy.
Should Central institutions be connected with community and schools close by to
improve the quality of their life. YES
Should their work and quality of teaching and research be connected to community? YES, but certain basic norms of education and research are independent of specific community and these must be ensured
How do we set performance standards for CFI to ensure financial probity and administrative and academic excellence? CFIs should only be advisory bodies which besides providing funds on basis of norms and performance, also ensure autonomy with accountability
How can we increase the GER in Central Universities from the current level of 2% to 10%? Enhanced fees, better quality education in basic as well as vocational courses together with improved funding and overall purposefulness of education. HE should be limited to only those who wish to take a professional or academic career. It should not be default for every young person. The crowd defeats quality.
Some general suggestions for improving quality of HE were made by the Science Academies following a brain-storming. These may be referred to in the attachments and at http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/104/02/0163.pdf
V: Improving Public State universities
Questions for discussion
How can the state universities be strengthened in terms of infrastructure, academic support and provision of qualified teachers? State governments must feel obliged to provide quality education in the state and, therefore, maintain minimal standards of quality and quantity.
How can research be promoted among the faculty members teaching in the state universities? Research should be integral to activities of any university and state governments must also provide the basic infrastructure.
Is it a good idea to decide on universities on the basis of number of affiliated colleges? YES, unless the affiliating system is done away with, as suggested above
Will transparent and competitive appointment process help the State universities YES
Is it better to giving autonomy to colleges ? YES but with accountability
Is it desirable that monthly fee should be increased with waiver for needy students ? YES
Should Governing body be an empowered body to take decisions with regard to expenditure on the fee collected and remitted into corpus fund ? YES with well-defined norms for implementation
Should administrative & financial autonomy be given to the colleges ? YES but with accountability and within the general norms set by the University
Should colleges be given academic autonomy for creating courses ? YES but with accountability and within the general norms set by the University
Should fees be increased and colleges be allowed to retain to improve infrastructure ? YES
Should contract teachers be replaced by permanent teachers? Contractual appointment of teachers for short period of one or two years must be completely stopped. All appointments at the entry level should in general be for 5 year's contract with the possibility of continuation depending upon performance.
Should teachers be removed when they do not perform ? YES if counselling and warnings do not help (of course there have to be objective parameters for assessing the "performance").
The general framework for excellence that applies to Central University should also apply to State Universities. The State governments need to consider education as seriously as the central government has to do. There also has to be better coordination between the governments instead of this being made a political issue
At what level of education should skill be introduced?
What is "skill''? It should not be taken in the narrow sense of a vocational training. Learning to how to "learn" more, or how to ask well-defined questions and knowing the methods to answer those questions are also "skills". Therefore, the scope of higher education need not be narrowed down to training for getting jobs (as employed or self-employed) but should primarily be to provide education, as it is understood in the broad sense.
Should not skill be introduced in higher education?
What efforts should be made to introduce need based employable skill courses?
In what ways, bridge between general a vocational courses should be established to enhance employability of the educated?
What institutional mechanisms should be established to make provision for
certification of skills already in the informal sector?
In what ways, linkages should be established between educational and industries to promote skill based education.
What guidance and counseling should be provided to the prospective youth for
opting skill based courses?
Should not Associate Degrees be introduced in the Community Colleges as in the
Should not higher education allow entry at any stage and temporary exit at the end of any semester?
Should regular course enable modules of skill which will increase employability?
As a collective answer to the above, it is to be noted that "skills" include academic as well as vocational/professional capability. A primary responsibility of universities and colleges is to provide basic education that prepares the students for the job of choice. A student should select study courses depending upon interest and capabilities. Specialized courses, in the name of job-oriented curses, must not be introduced as part of regular under-graduate degree courses. These may be given as diploma/certificate courses. Typical vocational training be left to specialized institutions like ITIs/NITs, rather than make use of the limited facilities at colleges/universities for the so-called "skill development" courses.
"Employability" should not be taken in the narrow sense of finding a job. Education should prepare a person to take up a profession of one's choice and expertise. If our basic education serves the purpose of driving curiosity in the minds of learners, we would not have the present problem that our graduates are "unemployable"
It should also be noted that with increasing burden of population, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, especially in view of the limited resources (material as well as the qualified manpower) to train everyone to be employable. Population control is also essential for success of the education policy
VII: Promoting Open and Distance Learning and Online Courses
Questions for discussion
Should open courseware and MOOCs supplement/complement learning in
colleges and Universities?
Do the colleges and Universities in your State have connectivity either through
the NMEICT of NKN?
Would you suggest promoting MOOCs or specific online courses? If yes, could
you suggest in which disciplines online courses would be useful in your State.
What impediments are likely for implementing online courses and how can they
To what extent MOOCs substitute for traditional institution based face to face teaching learning process?
What are the constraints to access MOOC courses in rural areas?
How MOOCs can help expanding the learning opportunities or improve quality of the existing courses?
Should DTH facility be given to students for anytime learning .
Should On-line testing should account for 20% of the grading.
Public as well as private sector Community Colleges or Finishing Schools with the power of granting certificates, degrees, diplomas and associate degrees should be started in large numbers, preferably one in each Village of the country.
Open courseware, MOOC and all technology-based learning should supplement, rather than replace, the regular collegiate and university education.
Open and distant learning is necessary and needs to be promoted. However, this cannot replace the class-room teaching. It should mostly be a supplement. Only in case of remote locations, the open and distant learning systems can be useful. MOOCs ad similar other efforts have to ensure the quality of material that is included. The very poor internet accessibility even in most cities, leave aside the accessibility in semi-urban and rural areas, is a serious limiting factor. We should also realize that the internet is loaded with high quality teaching materials. Thus the problem is more of access than of the availability. Poor quality learning programmes would do more harm than good.
VIII: Opportunities for Technology Enabled Learning
Do students and faculty understand the need and potential of TEL, if so how
they wish to integrate it for optimal use.
Are the necessary infrastructure available for transacting education through
institutions and if so what are the advantages and disadvantages
Please list specifically how TEL can help colleges and universities in the
educational instruction and research
Share any best practices, if any
Should Skill development courses be technologically enabled?
Should Teachers training be made partly on-line?
What should be the time line for introduction of skill development courses-
Example: (Suppose the State has 500 colleges) Can we have 50 – by 2015
Academic Session, 100 – by 2016, 300 – by 2017, 500 – by 2018.
The infrastructure for TEL is rather poor at most places. However, simple introduction of TEL by itself may not mean much unless the teachers and quality of distant learning material is good and the learners have good opportunity of interactions with experts. Teacher cannot be replaced by smart-boards and TEL.
Skill development courses should not be the primary responsibility of colleges and universities (also see response under VI above). The already introduced specialty subjects (eg. Nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology etc) at undergraduate level should be discontinued since they have significantly eroded the learning base and thus the quality of education.
IX: Addressing Regional Disparity
How can we address the issue of skewed access to higher education which will
reduce existing regional disparities and why have existing schemes failed to
resolve these gaps.
How to target the disadvantaged groups in the rural areas and among
economically poor households.?
Would incentive systems will be successful to attract students from disadvantaged groups in the deprived regions and how?
Would targeting of states with low enrolment and changing criteria for fund
allocation be helpful?
How do you address the regional backwardness in education? Choose any one of
Create more colleges
Strengthen the existing colleges
Create more polytechnics
Strengthen existing polytechnics
Is RUSA adequate to address the regional disparity issue?
What measures can be taken to give special emphasis on tribal belts, hilly area
Any new avenues of knowledge for coastal belts?
New educational institutions must be established so that they remain equally distributed. Distant learning systems can only be a stop-gap arrangement.
X: Bridging Gender and Social Gaps in Higher Education
What further steps should be taken up to enhance participation of SC, ST and
Minority groups in post secondary higher and technical education to reap the
How should women’s participation and performance in higher education be
incentivized by providing safe and secure environment within and outside the
What are the possible ways of formalizing traditional works into the higher
education? Since most of the minorities are involved in traditional works.
How affirmative action interventions should be revitalized to make them efficient
How to ensure that students from deprived classes who pass out from school,
join colleges and complete studies?
How to ensure that the girls join colleges or polytechnic ?
What does improve girls’ participation ?
Hostel Scholarship Assurance of safety
Does introduction of earning while learning courses improve chances of girls
joining college ?
How to bridge the Gender Gaps – Put them in descending order in terms of
priority. Mention 1 if it is priority 1
Get girls to school by providing hostels.
Give them scholarship to find accommodation
Give them computing devices & connectivity to get over quality problem of
Give them skill training so that they can earn while learning
Make flexible entry and exit.
Considering gender gap along with social gap does not appear to be appropriate. The subject of gender gaps has different dimensions than social gaps, and in fact quite different approaches are required to handle the two.
XI - Linking Higher Education to Society
In what ways, India should prioritize higher education agenda to enhance local engagement by the universities?
Providing quality education and creating manpower with knowledge and integrity is the primary job and if done properly is a big contribution to local engagement. The academia can also act as think-tank for local issues.
What efforts should be made to promote R&D activities in higher education, which helps regional manufacturing sectors?
Basic as well as applied R&D activities need to continue, which the regional manufacturing units can take advantage of
In what ways, existing educational institutions should be revitalized to play vital role in solving the skill requirements to meet the regional and local labor markets? Good basic training by the educational institutions is in general expected to provide adequately trained and employable manpower to the industry which can effectively train them for specific jobs. ITIs, NITs and the Finishing Schools may provide specific job-training modules.
Please share some working examples of community engagement by institutions
of higher learning
While pursuing their education, how can students can contribute to their community, village ?
NSS, NCC etc need to be made more effective and persuasive so that a greater number of students participate.
What do students feel that while doing their studies, they can contribute ?
After being employed – how do they contribute (Their idea)
Teachers should be assessed by
By all of them
What is corrective action for them?
1) Remove 2 Retrain 3) Do not lift probation 4) Deny promotion
5) 1,2&3 together 6) 2 ,3 & 4 together 7) 1,2,3,4 together if 23 &4 fail
Is not community welfare an essential part of higher education, especially in
rural areas? Community welfare is always an essential component of HE – Educating the youth and training in probity, objectivity are the most important community welfare activities. Involving them as think-tank for other local issues can be another way of utilizing their expertise and capabilities.
XII: Developing the Best Teachers
Questions for discussion
What strategies can be in place to attract the best from the university sector to teaching profession?
Question is not clear: teaching is an essential component of university sector and, therefore, all university teachers have to teach. In the first place, only those who can and enjoy teaching should be appointed They also need to be good researchers
How could support system for research and academic development be provided?
What incentives could be provided to promote research among teachers of higher education institutions?
Good infrastructure, conducive environment, scope for good extra-mural funding on a competitive basis, institutional and societal recognitions and professional promotions
Whether the scheme of National Mission on Teachers & Teaching is adequate or should it be enhanced with some additional features and what are they?
What percentage of academic leadership training should be online?
What percentage of Pedagogical training should be online?
Academic leadership and pedagogical skills are best learnt in an interactive manner. Thus only a small part can be online learning
What percentage of Professional course training – should be online?
Depends upon the nature of professional course. However, every course would need a varying proportion in the form of direct interactions with teachers/trainers
What is the role of industry experts as teachers?
Industry experts can enlighten the students about various prospects and what is expected of them an employee in an industry or if they want to become industrialist themselves.
Is not Academic leadership course essential for all VCs and principals?
A formal course in Academic leadership does not guarantee that participants become leaders. Training can only help more effective use of the inherent leadership quality
How can teachers be given exposure on a timely or constant basis to new knowledge being developed worldwide in their domain?
Primary requirement is the desire to learn new things. Fulfilling that desire needs good libraries, internet connection and access to new books, research publications
Is not counselling an essential role of teachers also?
Teacher is always considered as "friend, philosopher and guide"
All these require, in the first place, a good faculty recruitment system. The present system does not permit it. The administration’s outlook also needs a change that the university/ college is for teachers and students where the administrators are only facilitators rather than dictators.
XIII: Sustaining Student Support Systems in Higher Education
Questions for discussion
Should there be differential income slabs for existing student financial assistance
Apart from affirmative scholarship, a need based scholarship should be linked up
to what kind of earning per family.
Rs.1 lakh & below
Rs.1 lakh to 1.5 lakh
Rs.1.5 lakh to 2 lakh
Rs.2 lakh to 2.5 lakh
Has the interest loan subsidy scheme helped the poorest of poor in accessing
higher education? If not , what changes need to be effected?
Open Universities have student support services at local levels, how can local
bodies and other similar agencies help to improve services offered at these
What type of infrastructural facilities to be provided to enhance interaction among students and make them a more inclusive group?
Students must not be made to feel that they belong to different castes/categories. This would automatically restore social inclusiveness
What type of support will enhance learning opportunities for students especially
from disadvantaged groups? Can support be interlinked with skill education?
Will universal soft loan scheme help students as universal scholarship is not
Is interest subsidy of 5% adequate?
Do you agree that it is not possible to give scholarship to everyone, however
meritorious students should not be denied access to higher education.
What is the minimum percentage it should be linked upto.
Merit scholarships should not be linked to financial or social status.
Means-scholarships/loans for economically or socially under-privileged students should be provided. It may not be possible and it is also not necessary to provide scholarship to every student in one institution while at similar levels in other institutions, there is no such privilege.
XIV: Promoting Cultural Integration through Language
Questions for discussion
Should Universities include foundation courses on cultural integration
How can inter-linkages between education, culture and language be brought
about in HE institutions
Cultural integration is best achieved through cultural events - participating in them and being audience in such activities. Formal course work would not succeed in cultural integration.
How do we encourage cultural exchange between students especially in situations they belong to different language groups and regions?
Good cultural activities are not barred by language/regions. (As an example, popularity of Hindi cinema across the world was not limited by barriers of languages or cultures.)
Do you think that development of regional and national Indological centers help
preserve the vast repertoire of languages of various regions?
Should Indology Studies be a part of curriculum?
No, These need not be part of curriculum in every discipline
How can cultural integration take place through language?
Should all universities have essential language departments with focus on dying or extinct languages?
That would depend upon the adequate expertise available locally.
XV. Meaning Partnership with Private sector
Questions for discussion
Why has PPP models not been so effective in education sector
Primarily because this has been taken as business for profit, rather than as a social and philanthropic responsibility
Can there be more role for the private sector except providing ancillary services
The best example of PPP is the establishment of institutions like IISc and BHU with clear vision of philanthropy and community service. We need many more replicates of these.
Would you suggest changes in the “ not for profit” policy with safeguards for better PPP arrangements
Education and educational institutions must not be "for profit".
Are there good working models of PPP in higher education which can be replicated
Indian Institute of Science, setup by the Tata family is an excellent example and needs to be replicated many many times
What should be done in partnership with Private Sector ?
Construction of buildings
Maintenance of Building
Maintenance of College
Maintenance of Labs
1 & 2 both
1 & 3 both
1 & 4 both
Any or all of them
What changes among the following is acceptable? ( You can tick more than 1)
Management of the facility.
Takeover of the colleges by Trusts/Corporate entities under CSR
Corporate to open colleges/universities as non-profits.
Private sector brings in best professors/adjunct professors – sits in the Governing body.
XVI. Financing of higher education
Questions for discussion
What are the innovative ways of financing HE?
Higher and pragmatic fees with provisions for scholarships/subsidy for economically weaker but competent students
When States not able to increase their share of funding education and how can the situation be remedied?
State governments must also find ways to increase support for education
How can Corporate sector participation help mitigate problems of financing higher education and what are the ways that they can participate?
As in XV above
Is it desirable to have a variable Student fee structure?
Fee structures should be same but financial support should be available for needy but meritorious
Any other suggestions that can resolve issues of financing higher education
Should all educational loans provide interest subsidy of 5% and moratorium of 1
If additional education is taken, should it provide rolling moratorium and
Should each institution cover 1% meritorious students and 1% needy students not covered by any scholarship by Alumni contribution, fund raising.
Should each institution raise Alumni fund and local contribution.
This is desirable
XVII. Internationalisation of higher education
Please suggest strategies for cross border higher education
How can we encourage foreign education providers?
Can improving infrastructural facilities on university campuses such as student
facilitation centres, international student’s hostels, faculty guest houses help to
attract more foreign students
Suggest changes in the student faculty exchange programmes and institutional/research collaborations
Suggest ways by which educational services can be exported
Which state universities can take in 10% international students?
Do they have adequate ranking and diversity etc.?
Which universities should try to get international students in 5 years time?
Should these universities get Global Initiative in Academic Network (GIAN)
General comments on Internationalisation:
Education is always internationalised since the knowledge generation is a universal phenomenon.
Foreign institutions can have their campuses in India but these should not be given a different "caste" status and should not be allowed to run for profit.
Student/Faculty Exchange programmes should not be one-way traffic. We should develop expertise (we do have in many areas) which the others from outside India can also use with great benefits. We need not always remain followers when we have the expertise to be leaders as well, at least in certain disciplines.
XVIII: Engagement with industry to link education to employability
Should higher education institutions be oriented to impart skills required by the industry?
Higher education should primarily be oriented to impart good knowledge and create good citizens. Training in skills needed by Industry can only be a secondary component of the education process.
How can institutions of higher education link with industry to change study
programmes and improve employability of its graduates?
It would be short-sighted step if all university programmes are oriented to general manpower for employment in Industry. The present crisis has occurred because even the basic teaching is very poor in most of our teaching institutions. If this is resurrected, the problem of industry not finding country's graduates as unemployable would disappear.
How can Industry academia linkages help for start ups and entrepreneurial ventures
Specific university researchers, who are engaged in such research activity that has industrial potential, can and should develop startups in "incubators" setup as part of PPP programmes and carry the process to final industrial scale.
How can Industry orient students to develop entrepreneurial skills
Should Industry representatives be included in the governing bodies of Universities/ colleges
How can industry help in framing industry relevant courses for enhancing student employability?
Industry representatives can be consulted and may be members of Board of studies in such specific courses
How can Region and sector specific distinct skill profiles and Institutional Profiles be created and matched? How can we ensure that Agriculture and traditional arts and crafts industry/sector are not ignored?
Courses be designed in such disciplines for training students in local arts. handicrafts and agricultural practices and these can be also introduced at other places, away from the region, to facilitate cross-hybridization and evolution of newer skills and opportunities
XIX: Promoting Research and Innovation
In what ways, aptitude for research and innovation should be developed in students and faculty members?
A basic purpose of education is to generate curiosity about the unknown. If we teach well with that objective in mind, every student would be a "researcher" in some ways. Thus good teaching and pedagogical skills are essential for generating research-oriented students
What measures are needed to develop research capabilities of teachers and students?
Good teaching and laboratory (in disciplines where experimental work is part of curriculum) are primary requirements. Sustained support for quality research and its recognition are other essential requirements
In what ways, research agenda should be prioritized at the higher education
Teaching and research are complementary and thus both need to be promoted at HE. If teachers are curious, so would most of their student be. Thus selection of good teachers and researchers is the most elementary step required
How private agencies can be encouraged and motivated to invest funds in university research and innovation activities?
This is a social responsibility and needs to be inculcated. Financial incentives with transparent and accountable processes may help more investment in teaching and research in academic institutions
Which of the following Strategies need to be pursued for promoting research &
Outcome based research financing.
Liberal research grants for both social sciences and basic sciences.
Setting up Incubation Centers with Seed Money to do innovative research
Research leading to creation of intellectual property.
Setting up Research Parks in central educational institutions.
Joint appointments of faculty – enabling researchers to teach and teachers to engage in research.
Inter-disciplinary research – Institutions must come together for creating new knowledge at the intersections of existing disciplines.
ALL of the above
How can we make India become a favoured destination for R&D projects. How can we explore getting grants from abroad for R&D?
Promoting quality research in institutions within the country would automatically catalyze foreign investment. We also need to ensure that best of our young talent is not forced to go abroad to develop "skills". The country should retain a majority of them by providing adequate and long-term opportunities and support so that their capabilities blossom within the country, rather than they work outside the country and thus bring glory to others. At this moment, we seem to encourage bright students to go abroad to gain more experience but in the process we often lose the brightest of them.
Do we need to reconsider setting up Innovation Universities?
There is no need to make another class of university
XX. New Knowledge
How can we retain our soft power in the global comity of nations?
How the higher education institutions position themselves to produce new
knowledge and use it to the best advantage of the country?
How do we map continuous/ upcoming new knowledge across the world in all
spheres of education and at what stage and how should they be integrated to
Active and quality research in basic sciences with good linkages with research institutions and industry would ensure generation of new knowledge. New inventions and innovations are to be based, in partnership with research institutions and industry, on such new basic research outputs. Those engaged in quality research would automatically continuously update their knowledge base.