Pointing to the fact that none of the Indian institutions were ranked among the top 100 educational institutions in the world, H.A. Ranganath, former vice-chancellor of Bangalore University and visiting professor at IISC, Bangalore, expressed serious concerns over the deteriorating standard of education, particularly that of higher education, in the country. He was delivering a convocation address at Gulbarga University, Kalaburagi (GUK) here on Friday, on the occasion of 35th convocation.
After giving a brief academic picture at Gulbarga University, he said that his views were the reflections of his long experience in the field of higher education and not with reference to anybody. “I must admit that, of all diversified educational institutions, the worst-hit are is State universities and their affiliated colleges which are often viewed as the backbone of Indian higher education system,” he said.
Mr. Ranganath pointed out that lack of autonomy, transparency and accountability in governance, faculty recruitment, funding for research and teaching, mobility and diversity of students and faculty and others were issues that were affecting the health of higher education. “Deterioration of standards or quality could be checked to a great extent if an institution undertakes a strict regime of quality checks at regular intervals of time right from a nascent stage,” he said.
He suggested quality assurance checks at the genesis of new institutions, affiliation processes, assessment and accreditation by NAAC, internal quality assurance cells, academic and administrative audit and other vital areas.
“As institutions mushroom with no basic prenatal research, they take birth with congenital discords and defects. Such a predicament can have a cascading effect, leading to evolutionary problems in quality assurance and maintenance of standards. Therefore, the onus is on the Central and State policymakers as well as regulatory bodies to undertake prenatal research before opening new institutions and programmes,” he said.
Strongly stressing upon the need for reforms in the affiliation system, Mr. Ranganath suggested that the parent universities upgrade and get innovative in guiding and providing relevant academic and administrative leadership to the affiliated colleges.
Higher Education Minister Basavaraj Rayaraddi and GUK Vice Chancellor S.R. Niranjana were present.(EOM)