Re-imagine, reconstruct higher education system: Naidu

New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said there was need to re-imagine and reconstruct the higher education system in tune with the requirements of the 21st century and sought participation of government as well as the private sector for quality education.

He said it was a cause for concern that India did not have enough high quality researchers, and that the number of students doing PhDs and entering research posts was on the decline, as per release.

“A country as populous as India and facing innumerable challenges from poverty to environmental degradation simply cannot do without innovation,” he said after launching Krea University from here.

“It is crucial that we re-imagine and reconstruct our higher education system. The autonomy of Universities cannot be compromised under any circumstance. The government should play the role of a strong facilitator when it comes to Universities.”

He called for “an impactful coordination” of public-private sectors in providing such education system.

Naidu said the Universities should be allowed to develop their own curricula and their own system of examinations.

“A strong, accomplished and professional management body for Universities coupled with adequate funding is the need of the hour,” he said.

“The objective of a University should not just be restricted to imparting quality education, but to ensure all round development of an individual.”

The Universities should not be breeding grounds for resentment, frustration or discrimination but should be the hubs for innovation, a safe space for future visionaries and entrepreneurs to sharpen their skills, he added.

Naidu said the higher education system in India still lagged behind the standards of the world’s best universities.

“In 2018 too, no Indian University was able to secure a place in the top 100 best Universities in the QS World University Ranking. American and European Universities still rule the list,” he said.

Calling the gross enrolment rate (GER) of college-aged people in tertiary education a cause for grave concern, he said the GER in higher education was 25.2 per cent in 2016-17 while China stood at 43.39 per cent and the US’s at 85.8 per cent.

The indulgent system which regulates higher educational institutions in India has also led to the mushrooming of hundreds of privately set-up colleges offering a poor quality education in India and making profit, he said.