Education and education system of India has always been an issue of debate since long. And, while conflicting views dogged the matter, efforts are made to improve and spread education at different levels of the society.
Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI)- a body comprising private deemed universities organised a National Conference on “Reforming & Rejuvenating Indian Higher Education – A Stakeholders’ Perspective” on Wednesday, the 18th May, 2016 at Joseph Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Hon’ble Minister of HRD kindly consented to inaugurate the National Conference and deliver the Inaugural Address. Very eminent educationists, policy makers, industry leaders, administrators and thought leaders were invited to address the National Conference. She also launched a new portal—StudyinIndia.org—which aims to attract foreign students to the universities located across the length and breadth of the country. The portal will be a single platform to bind all education providers from India, and help seekers avail most authentic and complete information on education.
The education sector of India is just like a Hollywood film Titanic… Internationally, disruptive technologies like 3D printing, virtual reality are being used, what will happen if Indian universities aren’t able to cope up… There is social unrest. How are Indian institutions going to play at the level of international varsities. And that too at times like these when country’s own aspiring minds are flocking in record numbers overseas for education only. The day is not far off when people from upper castes will also start demanding reservation… Many students are going abroad because they are not able to get admission in good universities in spite of scoring high marks… Many of our graduates and post-graduates are not employable in industries… The scenario is similar to the “sinking Titanic” and “multiple icebergs” can hit it. However, “challenges are opportunities” and “collaborative efforts” will change the situation.
Addressing the aforesaid issues, Irani said, “ I completely disagree that we are going to sink like Titanic. The positive changes will be visible in the next few months. We are soon going to receive the draft of New Educational Policy… This will be publicly available for discussions and after assimilation of all viewpoints, the policy will be presented to the country.”
Corruption, black money in education sector is more worrying. They say in 1991 shackles of Laxmi were removed from the country, but Saraswati still remains. Even in a country like China there is more autonomy than in the Indian education sector.
However, while addressing the gathering at the conference, Irani said that the government will soon launch a mobile app and a web portal for IIT aspirants which will have 50 years of entrance exam question papers and audio-videos of lectures of IIT faculties and will be available in 13 languages.
Regarding the issue raised by Birla Institute of Management and Technology (BIMTECH) director H Chaturvedi, for coaching institutions are a menace, there’s not just one Kota, there are hubs everywhere, she told that she has asked IITs to not frame question papers of JEE beyond the course of Class 12th.
She also informed that she has started roping in foreign faculties to teach in government institutions and under the initiative Gian, foreign academicians have come and taught in India. Till date around 400 academicians have come to India to teach only in government colleges. Currently, 85 academicians are teaching in government institutions across the country.
Other Initiatives by HRD Ministry
- Bharat Vani App, expected to launch on May 25- It would provide the students with higher education study material in 22 different languages. Over the next one year, all content will be made available in 100 non-scheduled and tribal languages, for greater reach and accessibility.
- The extension of government MOOC platform, Swayam- It is providing over 500 diploma courses to the students from 8th standard onward to help them resume education and asked EPSI to encourage Universities to contribute with at least MOOC course to the platforms
- In regard of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan, Irani told that it is a platform where IITs, IIMs and central universities have adopted villages around their respective institution to boost education and technical know-how.