'Change outdated curriculum'

'Change outdated curriculum'

Principals assn holds seminar on recent developments in higher edn in India

There are two mantras of higher education today. The first is expansion, inclusion and excellence and the second is liberalisation, privatisaion and globalisation, said Nitte University Vice Chancellor Professor Dr S Ramananda Shetty.

He was speaking on “Recent developments in higher education in India,” a one-day seminar organised by Association of First Grade College Principals at SDM College of Business Management in Mangalore on Friday.

“Eduction has become a tradable commodity. The cross border phenomenon is inevitable. Higher Education is a ‘private good’ as well as a ‘public good’. The nation needs to decide on Public Private Partnership,” he said.

“Today there is a need to integrate Information and Communication Technologies in higher education. To have a blended approach, there is a need to address four issues such as awareness, availability, accessibility and affordability,” he said.

Prof Shetty pointed out that in the year 1947, India had 20 universities and 500 colleges. In the year 2011, India has 634 Universities and 33023 Colleges.

However, it is sad to note that the gross enrollment ratio of students pursuing higher education in India is 14 per cent when compared to China which is at 20 per cent, UK at 35 per cent, France at 55 per cent and USA at 86 per cent.

The USA has 2364 Universities for a population of 295 million people but India has 634 Universities for 1120 million people. The solution is to increase intake in existing colleges and start new colleges. According to the proposed ‘Rashtriya Uchatar Shiksha Abhiyan,’ there is a target to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio to 30 per cent by 2020, he said.

Suggesting remedies to enhance higher education, Prof Shetty advised Universities to keep society’s need in mind. There is a need to change outdated curriculum and adopt learner centric teaching.

With the present educational system, only 15 per cent general graduates and 25 per cent technical graduates are employable, he said.

“More IITs and IIMs need to be established. The existing IITs and IIMs should increase the intake five times,” he said.

Stressing on the need for vocational training, he said that 80 per cent join primary education and 60 per cent drop out. The 80 per cent are unemployable. The capacity of intake in ITI, ITC and Polytechnic should be increased, he said.
Prof Shetty pointed out that there should be an increase in Government spending.

India spends Rs 2000 per student in a year. However, Malaysia spends Rs 60,000.
The Kothari Commission in 1966 had recommended that 6 per cent of GDP to be spent on education. Today it is sad to note that only 3.7 per cent GDP is spent on Education, of which Higher Education consists only 0.66 per cent GDP.

The UGC is seeking 1.86 lakh crores in the 12th plan, he said. Prof Shetty concluded his speech with several questions. He asked if higher education in India is on cross roads? Is it transforming? Is India over democratic? Is India over regulated or Under governed?

"There are 660 million educable youth. Is this an asset or a liability?” he questioned.
Serampore University Chancellor and Karnataka Southern Diocese CSI Bishop Rev Dr J S Sadananda presided over the programme. Principals Associations in Karnataka President Professor Y Bhaskar Shetty, Association of First Grade College Principals President Dr B Yashovarma and Secretary Rev Fr Xavier Gomes were present.

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