Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) concluded 11th FICCI Higher Education Summit 2015, a two-day global conference on November 3-4 at FICCI, Federation House, New Delhi. FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organization in India. The federation has always been the voice of India’s business and industrial sector. FICCI provides a platform for networking and consensus building within and across sectors and is the first port of call for Indian industry, policy makers and the international business community.
The Theme of 11th FICCI Higher Education Summit 2015 is ‘Transforming Higher Education: The Asian Imperative’. On the first day, inaugural address was given by Professor Arvind Panagaria, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog. While addressing the gathering he laid emphasis over the fact that India needs rapid expansion of its higher education system. The need of the hour is transformation in the field of education to overcome challenges that are very much present in the Indian education system.
To help India face these challenges both the school education and higher education need to grow together. Mr Panagariya made out a case for rapid expansion in higher education; both in private and public sectors. He said, “Just as we need for transformation in different areas such as urbanization, industrialization….in many countries a lot of transformation has happened in education while India is still far away.”
During the recent times a lot of criticism has been faced by India over the fact that India over emphasize on higher education and ignore elementary one and it is matter of concern. He said, “There was an imperative need to link academia, industry and research with the higher education institutes to upgrade the quality of Indian higher education and become competitive in the world market.”
There has been a rapid expansion in engineering education and advancement in information technology (IT). However the fact is that the nature of medical education in the country is ‘very restrictive’. He further highlighted that the industry can partner with universities in two ways. If the universities have dedicated research faculty then the industry could reach out to the educational institute for providing intellectual support. Also, industry could send their employees to the university to train them upgrade their skills.
Listing other impediments, Mr Panagariya said that there is a need to consider compensation of teachers as well which is discouraging them to take up jobs. He appreciated the initiative of government to increase the number of IITs and IIMs as these institutes are famous for providing high quality education in an autonomous set up.
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While making it clear that NITI Aayog is all ready to support the advancement in education sector, he said, “At NITI Aayog, we are very much sensitive to that. The Prime Minister has himself focused on cooperative federalism. This is where FICCI can help NITI Aayog.”
FICCI-EY Report 2015, FICCI-EFMD Report 2015 and FICCI-British Council Report 2015 was also released by the dignitaries on the first day of 11th FICCI Higher Education Summit 2015.