Sunday, August 29, 2010

Universities for innovation: HRD minister meets stakeholders

Keen to build up India’s higher education and research infrastructure, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) took another step towards giving concrete shape to the concept of “universities for innovation”. The human resource development minister Kapil Sibal met with stakeholders, experts and academics on Saturday to discuss the legislation setting up these universities.

A draft of the legislation had already been circulated. Part of the effort to make India a global education hub, each innovation university will be built around a theme or subject. It is proposed that these institutions will have total autonomy in appointments, collaborations, resource generation and nomenclature of degrees.

At Saturday’s consultation it was decided that similar efforts would have to be made to help existing institutions achieve world class standards in teaching, research and innovation. Those present suggested that the draft Universities for Innovation Bill needs to be modified and outcomes more clearly specified and spelt out in the relevant provisions.

It was suggested that innovation and research outcomes should be "objective and verifiable". Private promoters suggested changes in the legislation to "ensure that the initiative and energy of promoters is not stifled in an excess regulatory framework".

There was agreement on the fact that there was no harm in setting up solution based institutions, with one or more themes as the guiding core principle but that they should still benefit the community at large. For this purpose these universities should have broader, generic base in terms of structure and programme.

Source: The Economic Times, August 29, 2010
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