Special Correspondent

‘State universities are left with unpopular disciplines’

‘Vibrancy of State university would be lost if this trend continues: Prof. Ranganath

‘Higher education has emerged as a major business enterprise’

MYSORE: H.A. Ranganath, Director, National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), called for an end to the proliferation of mono-faculty universities as they were depriving traditional universities of major disciplines.

Delivering a talk on “Higher education in India today: A perspectival assessment”, at the Teresian College here on Tuesday, Prof. Ranganath said mono-faculty universities had deprived the conventional State varsities of their holistic approach to education, and they were left with unpopular disciplines. The talk was part of a national seminar on testing and evaluation organised by the Department of English, Teresian College, in association with the Central Institute of Indian Languages.

He said that in Karnataka, State universities had been divested of engineering, medical and even law education, and that it would only be a matter of time before the commerce and management lobby too would push for a separate university on the lines of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) for engineering, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences for medical courses and University of Agricultural Sciences for agriculture.

The vibrancy of the State university would be lost if this trend continued, said Prof. Ranganath. It had resulted in compartmentalisation of education at a time when inter-disciplinary approach and networking was increasingly in vogue, he added.

Neglect

Calling for strengthening the State universities which he said were neglected, Prof. Ranganath suggested that they be elevated to the status of State Research Laboratories on the lines of national laboratories. He said networking of universities, institutions and laboratories should be encouraged for promoting excellence and knowledge.

Delving at length on the changing ecology of Indian higher education system, Prof. Ranganath said that though higher education was no longer a luxury and had become more accessible, the increased demand for higher education had also witnessed a diminished capacity of the Government in providing higher education to all.

Proliferation

The rising economic and fiscal stress of higher education and growing competition from international universities had resulted in massive expansion of higher education in India with the proliferation of private institutions and universities. This had resulted in higher education emerging as a major business enterprise. This was coupled with substandard infrastructure or ill-equipped faculty while the admission of ineligible students through capitation fee was producing mediocre manpower and unemployable workforce, said Prof. Ranganath.

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