Staff Reporter

Agency to oversee operation of institutions necessary: official

  • Interdisciplinary studies the need of the hour
  • "There is a lack of vision in planning in higher education"

    PUDUCHERRY: "There is a need for setting up an independent external agency to oversee the functioning of private and government institutions of higher education," V. Shivkumar, special invitee, governing body of Government Bharathidasan College for Women and Senior Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Goa University, said.

    Talking to The Hindu during a visit to Puducherry recently, when he called upon college principal Kumuda, he said the agency should have participation from academics, the government and the public.

    "We need to have continuous academic audit in all institutions. There are agencies like the All India Council for Technical Education, University Grants Commission and National Assessment and Accreditation Council that look into the running of institutions from time to time, but there is not much coordination between them."

    Professor Shivkumar, who is also a member of the UGC Standing Committee on area studies, said interdisciplinary studies was the need of the hour. "Especially with globalisation and export-led growth, companies are looking for people with knowledge of area studies." Students should not just study IT or Biotechnology, but should look at other subjects as well.

    He said that along with the need to provide quality education, there was the need to guide students along the right path and commitment on the part of students to develop knowledge.

    "Education is a knowledge discourse and students should be able to create jobs with the knowledge they have. There is a lack of vision in planning in higher education. There is a great demand for taking a re-look at the field of higher education in a professional manner in the country. We need to do it in a composite manner. Otherwise we will not be able to achieve the 9 per cent economic development."

    Appreciating the work of college principal Ms. Kumuda and its staff, he suggested that the college aim to start more self-financing vocational courses like masters in financial services.