PM promises measures to improve higher education

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Tuesday that many higher educational institutions in the country were “simply not up to mark” and promised that the government would now lay stress on improving quality of education.

“We must recognise that too many of our higher educational institutions are simply not up to the mark. Too many of them have simply not kept abreast of the rapid changes that have taken place in the world around us in recent years, still producing graduates in subjects that the job market no longer requires,” Singh said while addressing a conference of central universities’ vice-chancellors here at Rashtrapati Bhavan.  

He said the government’s efforts to improve access to higher education in the country had shown results. The enrolment in higher education grew from 16.6 crore to 25.9 crore during the 11th Plan period. The Gross Enrolment Ratio for higher education went up from 12.3 percent in 2006-07 to 17.9 percent in 2011-12. “It is a sobering thought for us that not one Indian university figures in the top 200 Universities of the world today,” the Prime Minister, however, added.

Singh said it was necessary to further expand the higher education system in the country to cater to the growing demand.

“But, in recognition of the fact that expansion without quality serves little purpose, we will now give over-riding emphasis on quality,” he added.

The conference was hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee, who happens to be the visitor to central varsities, to discuss ways to further improve the access and quality of higher education in the country.

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