EPSI’s National Conference on “Reforming & Rejuvenating Indian Higher Education – A Stakeholders’ Perspective”
Wednesday, the 18th May, 2016 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Dr H Chaturvedi speaks about the future challenges in Indian Higher Education and suggests and agenda for action.
EPSI’s National Conference on the theme ““Reforming & Rejuvenating Indian Higher Education – A Stakeholders’ Perspective” was yesterday inaugurated yesterday, May 18, 2016 by the Union MHRD Minister Smt Smriti Irani. Former Cabinet Secretary, Mr TSR Subramanian was the Guest of Hnour. Mr Subramanian is currently heading the Drafting Committee for the proposed New Education Policy.
In the inaugural session, Dr H Chaturvedi, Alternate President, EPSI & Director, BIMTECH delivered the Keynote Address which captured the salient points included in the theme paper.
In his Keynote Address, Dr Chaturvedi talked about probable dangers if the Indian Higher Education is not reformed and rejuvenated in an expeditious manner. He said that for the last 25 years, we have been waiting for reforms to happen but earlier governments did not deliver it. While talking about the probable defrayers of not reforming the Indian Higher Education, Dr Chaturvedi said it will be similar to the captain and crew of ship Titanic from the famous Hollywood film that did not give credence to dangers of colliding with icebergs which were not fully visible. He said the dangers facing the Indian Higher Education are currently not visible but are quite real and will have severe consdquences.
Dr Chaturvedi said that disruptive technologies like MOOCS, artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality have already involved the big industries in US, Europe and worldwide. It is destined to disrupt higher education in India. He said the current jobless growth in the economy and the recruiters’ reluctance to accept the quality of young university graduates are giving sparking birth to violent agitations even among the young graduation who are from not-so-poor families.
Dr Chaturvedi told that the future success of Make-in-India, Digital India, Start up India and 100 Smart Cities, will also require that we remove all kinds of redundancies and obsolescence from our colleges and universities. Higher Education Reforms require huge investments to the tune of Rs.10 lakh crore which no government can provide in next five years or so. At least, the current spending on higher education is 1.22 per cent of GNP needs to be enhanced to 2 per cent to 3 per cent of GNP as otherwise reforms will not be successful.
In the concluding part, he raised certain questions about the success of higher education reforms which need to be answered by policy makers, regulators, academicians and edu-entrepreneurs. What should be the time frame of reforms and who will find it are key questions. Another key concern is how to build consensus and how to bring it on the national agenda of the country? It is also pertinent to ask how a trade-off should be made between autonomy and accountability of educational institutions?