Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has said there was a need for creating a separate body to conduct university examinations.

Speaking at a book release function here on Monday, Mr. Sibal said universities should be relieved of the affiliated colleges which should operate as separate entities.

There can be a separate body to conduct examinations of these colleges and institutes. A part of the money could go to universities which will offer degrees, he said.

The autonomous colleges can operate as standalone institutes and run programmes. This will help them concentrate more on research, he said while adding that there was a need to give the institutes the freedom. He also expressed concern over the trend of Indian institutions lagging behind in research output.

The book, “Engineering Education in India” written by Professor Rangan Banerjee and Professor Vinayak P Muley, said less than one per cent of engineering graduates in India were coming for research.

According to Mr. Sibal China produces 50,000 PhDs every year but the number is 8,000 in India. While 6,700 people are doing research in Scandinavian countries per one million population and 4,700 in the U.S., the number in India is just 156.

Quoting the book, Mr. Sibal said about 2.3 lakh students had graduated in engineering in 2006. However, the number of students doing PhD that year was mere 1,000.

The Minister also suggested that the private sector should come forward in a big way to be involved in the education sector. “There is need for paradigm shift. The government cannot do this. The private sector has to come forward. The government will create appropriate environment for investment by private sector,” he said.

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