Sunday, September 14, 2014

Government plans higher education overhaul

In a bid to create uniformity among central universities, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has decided to frame guidelines for common admission, common curriculum, student and faculty mobility as well as a national system of credit transfers. It has also been decided to evolve a national ranking system of central universities.

These decisions were taken in the two-day retreat of HRD minister Smriti Z Irani with vice-chancellors of central universities in Chandigarh. A committee comprising VCs of central universities of Kerala, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Tripura, Delhi and Pondicherry University has been constituted to frame the guidelines. The committee has been asked to submit its report within a month.

"Imagine one university with 39 campuses with seamless mobility of students and teachers. Common curriculum and admission will be a great step forward," an HRD ministry official. However, there could be practical problems related to implementation. For instance, it is unlikely that faculty from premier central universities like DU and JNU would move to new central universities in places like Motihari or even universities in northeast. A former MHRD official said, "Attempts to have a common admission during Kapil Sibal's term also did not materialize. It remained confined to 14 central universities created in 2009. Old universities did not agree." As for the proposal of single legislation to run all central universities, the ministry has sought opinions of all VCs.

Another committee comprising VCs of English and foreign languages university, University of Delhi, Central University of Gujarat and JNU was constituted for developing a framework for the national ranking system within a month.

It was also decided to operationalize Council of Industry-Higher Education Collaboration (CIHEC) to identify initiatives to promote research, mobilize resources, develop market-ready manpower and enhance employability. The Council will collaborate with placement cells of Central Universities for identification of the emerging areas as per requirement of neighbouring industries to make students employment ready. The CIHEC will also help train counsellors at all placement cells for better counselling and placements. Central universities have been asked to establish a placement cell for all disciplines. Every placement cell will have counsellors who should give in-house training for skill development and coordinate placements.

In tune with the new government's emphasis on employment, 100 Knowledge Upgradation Centres for Skilled Human Action and Learning (KUSHAL) will be established within a year. These Centres will coordinate the entire skill development efforts of higher educational institutions. The University Grants Commission (UGC) will frame guidelines on the scheme within a month.

Under the new system GIAN (Global Initiative for Academic Networks), universities will provide a list of eminent scholars, researchers from within and outside the country, who they would like to invite in their universities as guest speakers/scholars in residence etc. They have been given one month's time. Universities have been asked to identify 40 great personalities of India by locating schools / colleges / universities which had the privilege of teaching them. Central Universities have also been asked to complete their National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) as per time frame given by UGC. Irani also told VCs to ensure that sexual harassment complaints are taken seriously and steps are taken to safeguard girl students.

Source: The Times of India, September 14, 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive