GTD to seek expert advice to improve higher education

GTD to seek expert advice to improve higher education

G T Devegowda

The state government will reach out to IT major Infosys among others to seek advice on improving the higher education sector, Higher Education Minister G T Devegowda said Friday.

The senior JD(S) leader assumed office nearly a fortnight after he was allocated the higher education portfolio. Initially, he refused to accept the responsibility because he had no clue about higher education. He has studied only up to Class 8.

“Nobody is a complete expert,” Devegowda told reporters, when asked about the concern he held on accepting the higher education portfolio. “There are people in the state who provide advice to the US and other countries. There are companies like Infosys. We will consult them, seek out their academic expertise and get help to improve the quality of higher education,” he said.

He clarified that there was no move to appoint former vice chancellor of University of Mysore K S Rangappa as the higher education advisor. Rangappa is a relative of JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and lost the recently Assembly election as the party’s candidate from the Chamaraja seat. “Rangappa is a scientist and there are many like him. We will call a meeting of such experts and take their suggestions. But neither Rangappa approached us to become an advisor nor did we offer him the role,” the minister said.

Devegowda, who emerged ‘giant killer’ in the recent Assembly elections by defeating Congress’ Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari constituency, wanted Revenue or the Water Resources portfolio. It was also speculated that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy would give him the Excise portfolio.

“Our universities should reach villages, especially rural girls who should be economically independent. We must encourage entrepreneurship,” he said.

Karnataka’s higher education gross enrolment ratio (GER) - number of students studying in colleges and universities - is just 20-25%, the minister rued. “The GER in other countries is as high as 70-75%. I will strive to reach that level,” he said.