University reforms may be attended to by GOI- Finally!

Initial statements of Kapil Sibal on assuming the role of education minister in the newly elected Congress government at the center are very encouraging. Since my days of post graduation I have believed that we needed better foreign universities in the country and also needed government to focus more on the education in this country.

Was reading an article in Business Line last week (written by a Prof from Columbia University) where the writer rightly highlighted how teaching and research have been split due to poor government policies to higher education. Specialized research institutes in area of science and a couple of in social sciences area are the ones only for research and receive grants from central government while others are meant for passing out with degrees taught by teachers having limited background of research.

Teaching profession in India is left just to teach and evaluate exam papers with add-on responsibilities of administration. Very few top higher education institutes in India talk of research as an additional role that a faculty has to adhere to. I can understand this when I tried doing a literature review in area of capital structure pertaining to Indian firms and I could draw the stark difference in the quality of research done in India compared to developed countries.

I am an aspiring academician who intends to have more than 50% of time available with support of funds to conduct research in the area of my interest…

Few suggestions for Kapil Sibal for reforming education sector in India:
a) Go ahead and dissolve UGC and AICTE- you are on right track
b) Ensure better and higher reward system for teachers at school level so that best continues to be interested in pursuing the career in teaching- this is very critical since that’s where the foundation for the future India is going to be built
c) Allow foreign universities into India with appropriate pre-conditions, ensuring education is made profitable but not commercialized
d) Centralize the grant to national universities and give them more funds for research- conditions are bad as of date

As per my estimates this may still take 10-15 years to happen..atleast the ones born today will get what we intend to give them…