India needs to stop brain drain; turn tide, says AIU President Chauhan

Hyderabad: Prof. D.S. Chauhan, the President of Association of Indian Universities (AIU), lamented brain drain and asked the vice-chancellors to suggest means how to turn the tide. Speaking at the opening session of the AIU on Monday morning at Maulana Azad National Urdu University’s DDE Auditorium he said that while the Indian government spent huge amount of resources on providing scientific education, most of the graduates eventually end up working in foreign institution.

The AIU, an apex body of higher education representing 650 Indian universities, is holding two-day ‘Central Zone Vice Chancellors’ Meet. About 50 vice chancellors from the states of Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh etc. are attending the brainstorming sessions. The topic of the meet is Sharing Best Practices in ICT, Teaching and Skill Development.

In his welcome address Dr Mohammad Aslam Parvaiz, MANUU Vice Chancellor, emphasized the importance of technical education. He pointed out that MANUU had taken strong initiatives in strengthening the infrastructure for providing technical knowledge in Urdu. The under-graduate students were being offered bridge courses in skills of Communicative English to help them merge into the mainstream. “The bridge courses will allow students to move into other institutions of higher education that in turn will lead to their empowerment,” he said.

Professor Furqan Qamar, Secretary-General of AIU and former Vice Chancellor of Central University of Himachal Pradesh, in his inaugural address pointed out that the Central Zone has 139 member universities of which 71 were state universities, 8 deemed universities, 10 central universities and 32 private universities from across the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Telangana, and Maharashtra. He pointed out that despite multitude of challenges to higher education in India the economically developed world has shown better appreciation of educational institutions. Some of the best faculties in foreign educational institutions were graduates from Indian college and universities. He pointed out that the success of Indian Space Research Organisation depended largely on academicians from Indian higher education institutions. “There is a need to overcome the linguistic barrier in acquiring knowledge and create the ecosystem that nurtures talent”, he said.

Professor H.P. Dixit, former President of AIU, said that Indian scientists like Homi Bhabha and Meghand Saha were able to start research centers from their own private trusts “…But universities can’t start from meager infrastructure and manpower.” He pointed out at the misinformation that Indian universities were not making to world ranking. “The Electrical Department at IIT Bombay is world No 2 individually,” he informed. He said that the ICT network can produce good teachers. “Unless the content is created and made available for free, it will not be able to go deep”, he said. There is a need to introduce short term ICT courses, he added.

The event saw the release of special issue of “University News” on Sharing Best Practices in ICT, Teaching and Skill Development. The AIU is one of the premier institutions of the country working for the cause of higher education since 1925. The valedictory of the conference will be held at MANUU at 12-30pm tomorrow.