Steps to improve higher education discussed

Over 40 educationists participated in the first deliberations



Constituted in July 2009, the Higher Education Council (HEC), discussed with its members the various paths that can be assumed to transform higher education in the State.

 Aravind Limbavali, Higher Education Minister who chaired the preliminary meeting, said that a bill would be drafted on the aims and objectives of the Council. “A committee has been set up to prepare the same the contents of the bill. Regular meetings would be conducted at the office of the Council, to implement the discussions that will be made” he said.

 On asked if the Council was a replacement for the Inter Universities Board, the Minister said that discussion were being conducted regarding the same.

The Council vice chairman Prof M I Savadatti said that higher education was the means of enlarging the knowledge base in the State. “We need integrated approach towards education and require networking for successful functioning of HEC”. Savadatti pointed out the Yash Pal Committee’s recommendation stating that fragmentation of education with various educations councils and authorities that have been formed.

S C Sharma, vice-chancellor, Tumkur University, said that vice chancellors should be empowered with total autonomy. “Certain institutions are suffering due to the financial constraints and the erratic distribution of funds. A clear cut admission policy has to be devised to enhance the quality of higher education”.

He pointed out, “Institutions and Universities which lack infrastructure and equipment, may be supported  by assistance from premier institutions like Indian Institute of Science(IISc) and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). A memorandum of understanding could be signed with the premier institutes to enrich and support the research work”.

Mangalore University Vice Chancellor, Prof K M Kaveriappa suggested the establishment of a state level commission on the lines of University Grants Commission (UGC) to determine the need-based funding and incentive-based funding that can be granted to the institutions and the universities by the State”.

Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Vice chancellor Ramanand Shetty said the enrolment for health courses was alarming with only 500 seats being filled of of the 3,600 students counselled. Except for medical courses, getting students for paramedical courses has become very difficult, he added.
A S Srikanth, principal secretary, Higher Education Department said that vision of the council was to establish one university in each district and to increase the gross enrollment ratio in higher education to 20 per cent.

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