Government should not interfere in setting up, running colleges: Narayana Murthy

Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy has advocated for higher
autonomy and less governmental interference in the functioning of educational

“In my own personal view, there should
be higher and higher levels of autonomy, and the government should not interfere in
setting up colleges, in running colleges. The market, the society will decide
which is a good university, which is not a good university, rather than
government mandating the same,” Murthy said.

Speaking on the sidelines of an event organised to
announce Infosys Prize 2014, he said, “That’s where I think the role
of AICTE and UGC must be reduced and we should provide full autonomy to
professors, researchers and administrators of university. Then I think things
will improve a lot like it happens in advanced countries.”

The Infosys Science Foundation today announced the
winners of the Infosys Prize 2014 across six categories like Engineering and
Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical
Sciences and Social Sciences.

Asked whether he thinks that with the mushrooming of
schools and colleges there would be no quality control, and how this can be
curbed, Murthy said, “All over the world these things have happened. But
it is the market that will determine who is a success and who is not. I don’t
think government control is what is going to improve this.”

“So my view is that instead of trying to curb
things, in the beginning there will be certain percentage of people who will
take advantage of this freedom. But that’s ok… A small percentage of people
will suffer. But in the end, we will come out with a system of education, with
a system of university, with a system of colleges that are of a better quality
than what it is,” he said.

Asked if there should be more private investment in education,
Murthy said, “More than private what I would say, whether it is IITs or
IISc or National Law School or other Universities, the government should take a
back seat, there should be greater and greater freedom to the academicians, to
the administrators, to the students to determine how their own institution
should progress.”

Stating that the country had a huge problem in
education, he said, “The quality of education is low, the percentage of
people who go to colleges is low. Therefore we have a huge set of challenges.
But we are making progress. There is no doubt about it, but we can make even
faster progress if we agree to learn from those countries that have done better
than us. We have to open our minds.”

To a question if lack of funding was the problem, he
said, “I think funding will come, funding is not an issue. We have to
provide full freedom to those institutions that are already there for them to
reach a better level.”

“The key issue is providing full academic
freedom,” he added.

Asked what are the three things needed to reshape
the country and make it a better place, Murthy said, “I think at the end
of the day you have to reduce friction to businesses, ideally to zero so that
more and more entrepreneurs can create more and more jobs with higher and
higher disposable income.”

“Second, create an easy to understand, easy to
interpret, easy implement tax system and collect more and more taxes; third use
the tax money efficiently and without corruption to provide basic common good –
education, healthcare, nutrition, shelter etc for the poor and also to create infrastructure
for every Indian,” reported Zee News.

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268 thoughts on “Government should not interfere in setting up, running colleges: Narayana Murthy”

  1. I do not fully agree with Mr. Narayan Murthy that Government should not interfere with higher education completely. Yes in deciding course curriculum, and the schedules Government never interferes but the direction of Government is very necessary. Today what benefit IIT”s are giving to the development of India when they are totally free with no interference from Government. I think Govt. can give broad requirements/guidelines on the topics engineering and science, based upon thrust areas of the country. If anybody will cal it interference, then I will not agree with him and her.

    Today Govt. has to create a uniform policy for higher education for large number of universities and colleges across the country who have wide variation in curriculum, practical training, number of permanent faculty, labs and basic facilities. Also a Govt. guideline is required to be created for Pvt. universities who are working today with profit earning model rather than a minimum education provider.

    So one cannot take a blanket word that Govt. will not interfere at all. This statement can be very dangerous but can be modified minimum interference in designing course curriculum and teaching styles but very important to follow uniform National Guidelines for minimum governance.

  2. In a move that promises to have a far-reaching effect on the movement of students from universities in India and abroad, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has started the process of evolving an ‘Indian equivalence assessment and credit transfer system’. “This would ensure smooth transition of students at different levels of higher studies, from one university to another within the country and outside,” Pandit Vidyasagar, director of the University of Pune’s (UoP) board of college and university development (BCUD), told TOI . “The credit-transfer model is expected to be finalised over the next six months,” Vidyasagar said.
    Times of India,July 2009. I feel if this happens at least in near future then all the big talk ‘ market that will determine who is a success and who is not, greater and greater freedom to the academicians, to the administrators, to the students, providing full academic freedom’ will have a meaning. Who stopped UGC or 5 years?

  3. I completely disagree with the above views of Mr. Murthy. Without any quality control, such educational institutes will produce lower quality of pass outs who eventually would not qualify for any campus selection. Under such conditions, those pass outs will join again some third graded colleges opened by education mafias of the country to produce multiple number of such garbage in the academic system. Mr. Murthy must understand IT business and Education business are not the same. Academic institutes should not be money making Bania Shops.

  4. Mr Murthy Know half of the Truth.He Should know about the persons running the schools and colleges- Thakedars/ contrctors and they are paying to teachers 10 to 20 k, even in the schools just 2to 5K . They have produce all students in distinction and then they have compete the regular students,who are under stringent control.Lets say there is private university running UG & PG including Ph.D. without a proper teachers and no body to ask.As u know the scarcity of GOOD COLLEGES & UNIVERSITY and enrollment is just 20% possible in prevailing condition. So If it left on then GOD knows!Interestingly, every body( (ALL public & Private concerns) is talking at present for QUALITY EDUCATION. From where it will come if left unregulated.Lets make education equal ,at par at each level in every respect. Rather education should freed from Polticians.Let Mr Murthy make a survey of education at gross root level to understand it, as he has a potential do to that

  5. Finally one person has spoken about the real practical problems in Education. Each and every meeting dignitaries spoke about Indian heritage, ranking etc. Our students are good we should increase our ranking etc etc. We the faculty and students are also fed up with all sorts of quotations from Veda and Bhagavadgita with no practical solutions. Institutions should be scrutinized strictly before starting. After that the students will decide. The governement need not waste its time, energy, manpower and tax payers money.. Institutions should send their details annually to UGC and inspections should be once in 5 yrs. All inspections should focus on quality, not on money/ influence power.