AICTE chairman presents degrees to Coimbatore Institute of Technology graduates

The Union Government is committed to revamping higher education and reforms are high on its agenda, S.S. Mantha, Chairman (acting), All India Council for Technical Education, said here on Sunday.

Delivering the graduation day address at Coimbatore Institute of Technology, he said: “Financial innovation, innovative use of information and communication technologies, reinvigoration of research, thrust to vocational education and training and reforms in regulation” are needed for revamping higher education.

Indian culture

“The higher education system of India should be Indian system of higher education, modelled on our requirements so that every undergraduate student has an intelligent and robust understanding of Indian culture. We, therefore, have to devise a special course in Indian culture.”

Such changes were necessary because the country with 35,000 colleges had the highest number of higher educational institutions in the world. It ranked high in terms of student enrolment. But only a few institutions were of international standard. “Despite having one of the largest higher education system in the world, a few Indian institutions have earned global distinction,” Mr. Mantha said.

Challenges

“This is because the institutions are impacted by shortage of faculty and poor infrastructure. They are also bogged down by the challenges of inadequate access, poor quality and inequity.”

Financing the institutions was also a problem, he acknowledged and said: “Higher education institutions underutilise other potential revenue streams such as intake of foreign students at differential fee structures and providing research and consultancy services.”

To overcome the problem, new teaching-learning methods needed to be explored, Mr. Mantha suggested.

Reading habit

He asked the students to develop reading habit.

“With the advent of technology and entertainment electronics, reading seems to have been given a complete go-by. There is good literature available in the print medium and I strongly believe that it would make a world of good to the current generation if they could get back to the habit of reading.”

Distinction

Principal V. Selladurai said 599 graduands would receive degree certificates. Of those 427 had passed B.E. or B.Tech. and 224 had passed with distinction. Correspondent S.R.K. Prasad participated.