‘Look into delay in tabling bill’
Governor and Chancellor of Universities H.R. Bhardwaj has said that he has urged Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to examine the delay in the tabling of the Karnataka State Private Universities Bill.
Speaking at a national conference on “Scarcity to plenty - roadmap for Indian higher education at 2025” organised by the Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI) here on Wednesday, the Governor made a case for the need for private universities. “I have good relations with this Chief Minister,” he said, indicating that he would ask the Chief Minister to look into the matter again.
“We need top class education now. The government should progressively upgrade the existing system. In 27 universities in Karnataka, there is shortage of faculty where they are working with about 40 per cent strength. The rest is not being filled up and the government is saying it has no money,” he said. If private players have the resources, there is no reason why they should not be allowed to establish universities, he added.
The Governor suggested that a western model where universities are run with help from endowments and charities be followed here. He criticised the regulatory bodies, including the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the University Grants Commission (UGC), which, he said, were “almost defunct now”.
Mr. Bhardwaj spoke about the failure of the governments in providing education and health facilities to the rural sector. “I discussed this with the Prime Minister recently,” he added. Terming legal education in the country as of “the lowest level”, the Governor, who was a lawyer and a Union Law Minister, said the quality of lawyers being produced has deteriorated. “The result is a collapse of the system,” he said.
G. Viswanathan, president, EPSI, spoke about the lack of access to higher education in India citing the examples of disproportion in the number of aspirants and seats available. “Various planning bodies are drawing up plans for the next 10 to 20 years. The Medical Council of India has planned to increase medical seats to 80,000 in 2021 and postgraduate seats to 22,000. The requirement is far more,” he said. On cut-offs, he gave the example of New Delhi colleges, where there are several lakh applicants but only 50,000 seats are on offer. With the cut-off hovering over 95 per cent, about three lakh Indian students are studying abroad, he said.