Saturday, August 16, 2008

Issues Relating to Higher Education

In India, we have a body called the University Grants Commission, or the UGC as it is popularly known, that supposedly 'monitors' what various colleges and universities do in the country. Salaries for public universities and colleges are given by the UGC and the appointments made in these public institutions have to be ratified by the UGC. Any other institution of higher learning which has been recognized by the UGC also should follow their guidelines.

So, if the UGC monitors these various colleges and universities in the country and they also have a 'fake universities alert', then what is it that ails higher education in India? I think this is a pertinent question, which has a number of multifaceted answers, all of which cannot be provided in the course of a single post. The problems are various and in a huge country like India, these issues can become very sensitive. I could be wrong but from my experience in life, I feel that Indian academics tend to take things personally more and they rarely see things in the best interests of the profession.

We need to really ponder over a large number of issues that afflict the profession in India. These are really serious issues and they should be given due consideration, especially when the country is posting excellent economic growth and expects to be one of the great economies of the world. So, what kind of a developed country is India going to become if there isn't a lot of focus on higher education? There are initiatives which are required both at the governmental as well as level of various stakeholders.

It is higher education that would provide the much-needed qualitative human capital, which is sorely needed in India. So, we should not take it lightly.