Mahatma Gandhi University Vice-Chancellor Rajan Gurukkal has called for organised efforts to counter actions that could potentially destabilise higher education in the State.

He was inaugurating an academic seminar on the topic ‘Degree-level restructuring and the Prof. Hridayakumari Committee Report’ organised by the All Kerala Private College Teachers’ Association (AKPCTA) here on Saturday.

Prof. Gurukkal was of the opinion that the higher education sector in the State was being subjected to avoidable interventions from various quarters including the government. “This is due to the fact that knowledge is increasingly being commoditised in accordance with the demands of the new economic order,” he said.

According to Prof. Gurukkal, administrators have overlooked the need for fundamental changes in higher education. “Attempts to bring changes to the choice-based credit and semester system (in accordance with the recommendations of the Prof. Hridayakumari Committee Report) are the result of a unilateral mode of thought. No worthwhile efforts are being made to study the CBCSS system or the scenario in which it has been introduced. It must be noted that the system has been devised after taking into consideration various academic factors.”

He also said the State was witnessing a prevalence of inept persons assuming decision-making positions in the higher echelons of the field of higher education. Those holding such positions with political and other vested interests could threaten to reverse the progress attained by an institution through painstaking efforts, he said.

AKPCTA academic committee chairman K.P. Sukumaran Nair presided. Former member secretary of the Kerala State Higher Education Council Thomas Joseph, Association of Kerala Government College Teachers general secretary K. Jayakumar, Kerala University syndicate member P. Reghunath, MG niversity senate member K. Sherafudeen, AKPCTA academic committee convener U. Hemanth Kumar and district secretary Tomichan Joseph spoke.

‘Knowledge being commoditised in accordance with the demands of the new economic order.’