PM Rues Absence of Indian University in Top 200

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PM regrets poor standard of Indian Universities Expressing displeasure over not a single Indian University finding place in top 200 quality institutions in the world, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Tuesday underlined the need to emphasise on the quality of higher education in the 12th Five Year Plan.

Prime Minister was addressing a conference of vice-chancellors of central universities at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. President Pranab Mukherjee is second to call such a conference of vice-chancellors of central universities, of which he himself is the chancellor, after Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who held such meet in 2003.

“In recognition of the fact that expansion without quality improvement serves little purpose, we will now give over-riding emphasis on quality. We must recognise that too many of our higher educational institutions are simply not up to the mark,” he told the gathering.

“Too many of those universities have simply not kept abreast with the rapid changes that have taken place in the world in recent years and were producing graduates in subjects that job market no longer required,” reasoned PM for the pathetic condition of the university education in the country.

Noting that the higher education system is often criticised for being unnecessarily rigid both for the faculty and the students, the Prime Minister stressed on the need to introduce flexibility in these institutes to enable them to attract good faculty, raise teaching standards and encourage cutting edge research and nurture talent.

“It is a sobering thought for us that not one Indian University figures in the top 200 universities of the world today,” he said at the meet being attended by 40 vice-chancellors.

His concern was echoed by President Pranab Mukherjee who emphasized that the flight of intellectual capital must be curbed. The President is the chancellor of central universities. He said private sector participation in higher education should be encouraged with formulation of appropriate policy which does not compromise on social objectives and quality.

He said flight of intellectual capital also needs to be discouraged by addressing service conditions of faculty and offering teachers incentives to serve the institutions within the country for longer period.

There are currently 44 central universities in the country with at least one in each state. The number of central universities has grown rapidly since 2004-05 when they were 17 in number.

Also Read : Quality & Employability of Graduates Is Big Challenge : Shashi Tharoor

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