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India lacks sustainable public policy on Higher Education: IIT-K Chairman

The Chairman of Indian Institute of
Technology – Kanpur (IIT-K) Dr. M Anandakrishnan has said even after 64 years of
independence, India has failed to evolve a credible and sustainable public
policy on Higher Education.

He was delivering the keynote address at
the symposium on ‘Public Policy and Governance’ organized by School of
International Relations and Politics (SIRP) at Mahatma Gandhi University,
Kerala.

Prof. Anandakrishnan highlighted that
some of the persisting problems of Higher Education include the lack of
competent institutional academic leadership, the lack of transparency in
decision-making and the domination of government representatives in policy
making. He pointed out that neo-liberal policies put in place since 1990s had
stressed on privatisation in many spheres of social life, but it has also
generated a lot of repercussions.

“Mushrooming of private universities
through state legislations is a trend that is going to affect the very
credibility of the system,” he added.

Speaking positively on the proposed
Foreign Universities Bill, Anandakrishnan said despite of the apprehensions
about the entry of foreign universities in the country, the bill might check
the unhealthy practices underway in the country that allow backdoor entry to
foreign institutions.

Talking strong about high level
bureaucratisation in State universities as compared to Central universities,
Anandakrishnan said “In terms of budgetary support, too the State universities
got very little compared to their counterparts in the Central institutions. The
imbalance in the allocation of funds has already resulted in discriminatory
practices.” 

Referring to the distance education and
open learning in the country, he said that it was “started with good
intentions”, but over years, “the whole system has been vandalised” and the
number of such institutions and stakeholders is mind-boggling.

[Source: The Hindu]

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