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Updated: June 24, 2014 00:30 IST

Reforms in higher education need of the hour, says expert

P. Sujatha Varma
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V R Siddhartha Engineering College Dean Koteswara Rao. Photo: HANDOUT
THE HINDU
V R Siddhartha Engineering College Dean Koteswara Rao. Photo: HANDOUT

‘Our exam system is skewed where questions have become predictive’

The higher education system is ailing and Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a Centrally-sponsored scheme, is seen as a prescription for the ailment.

“Reforms in the higher education sector are the need of the hour. RUSA envisages improving access, equity and quality in the higher education system. There was a need for colleges and universities to be strengthened through strategic Central funding,” says Anne Koteswara Rao, member of the Academic Advisory Committee of National Board of Accreditation and expert member, RUSA.

Mr. Rao, who is also Dean, Academics, V.R. Siddhartha College of Engineering, laments what he calls an ‘ad hoc’ approach of colleges against the western education system which has evolved over the years.

During the 12th Plan period, RUSA plans to create 80 new universities by converting autonomous colleges or colleges in a cluster to State universities. It also envisages setting up of 100 new colleges, including professional and technical colleges and conversion of 54 existing colleges into model degree colleges.

Under the new drive, infrastructure grants would be given to 150 universities and 3,500 colleges would be upgraded to fill critical gaps in infrastructure, especially libraries, laboratories etc. RUSA will also extend support to 5,000 faculty positions.

“The idea is also to correct regional imbalances in access to higher education by setting up high quality institutions in rural and semi-urban areas as well as creating opportunities for students from rural areas to get access to better quality institutions and to integrate skill developments efforts of the government with the conventional higher education system through optimum interventions,” he said.

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