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‘Global ranking crucial for Indian universities’

Recognition will boost higher education and economic growth, says VC of O.P. Jindal Global University

November 28, 2019 01:53 am | Updated 01:53 am IST - Mumbai

The lack of a global ranking and recognition of Indian universities internationally was affecting India’s growth on the higher education front, according to Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, vice-chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University.

Dr. Raj Kumar made the observation at a panel discussion at the National Sports Club of India in Worli earlier this month.

Citing examples of countries like the U.S., U.K, France and China, which lead in terms of global rankings in education and gross enrolment ratio, Dr. Raj Kumar emphasised the need for Indian universities to be recognised globally, which would lead to growth in the higher education sector and in turn improve economic growth.

“China is one of the leading education miracles and has several universities featuring in world rankings. This has been achieved through sound policies, consistent financial commitment and international partnerships,” he said.

Dr. Raj Kumar said all the resources cannot come from the government alone, and that they need to be supplemented by the private sector. “Unfortunately, the private sector has not really contributed to the establishment of world-class universities in India so far. However, there is a new generation of private universities coming up and it is important for us to recognise that the private sector has a significant role to play,” he said.

Dr. Raj Kumar also unveiled a 10-point growth and reform plan recommending reforms in the higher education sector. One of the points mentioned the hiring of outstanding faculty as inspiring teachers and prolific researchers. “Sadly, despite the need for quality educators, the best and the brightest students in schools and universities are not looking to academia as a career option,” he said.

Citing various studies which state that 40% of the faculty positions lie vacant in public and private universities, Dr. Raj Kumar pointed out the lack of proper governance in the recruitment process. “It’s not that there aren’t enough resources, but there is also a certain gap in governing the recruitment process,” he said.

Sudarshan Ramaswamy, professor and dean at the university, talked about how policies have not really been useful in higher education. “Just because a policy is drafted by intelligent people will not automatically make it a good policy. A great deal depends on procedures and processes,” Mr. Ramaswamy said.

The speakers also highlighted the culture of research and publication in every discipline required to achieve global recognition. Further, they spoke about promoting diversity and inclusion to impart mutual understanding, and creating a transparent admission process by eradicating the management quota.

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